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It was announced and approved by the Oxford School Board that the longtime hitting coach for Oxford Baseball has taken the position to be the Head Coach for Softball.
He takes over a program that saw the team win its first playoff series in years last season and inherits a young squad that will only have three seniors next year. While they did not have a great record last year (the team finished at 5-16 despite earning a playoff birth and reaching the 2nd Round), they will be returning most of their players next season. (the team only lost 2 seniors)
This also means he will be leaving a position that he has had for a long time, being the hitting coach for OHS Baseball. He has held that position despite having two recent head coaching changes in 2005 and 2010 in the baseball program for a long time. Although the coaching changes were not because of a firing but because the coaches went on to take administrative duties that prohibited them to take the time that a sports program needs to run it.
Having never really dealt with Softball before, it will almost certainly be a learning curve to all this as most of the years he has coached it was with the sport of Baseball. There will also be a learning curve into dealing with girl athletes for the first time as he (according to the Oxford Eagle story published Wednesday) has never coached a sport that involved girls.
That will not be so hard of a task as to coach them up but as to how to do it. Once he gets the support staff in place, it is just a matter of competing on the field.
However, one thing that needs to change (and something that I've wanted in every single sport) is getting the OHS Student Body to come out and watch these girls play.
For those that have followed me on Twitter throughout Basketball Season, I was after the fact that Girls Basketball was not well attended as the Boys Basketball team was this year. The Girls team deserved better from its fans especially after the fact they never lost all season. Now traditionally, Boys games in basketball are more exciting (who does not like dunks?) and for good reason. Girls do not make near as many exciting "high-flying" plays as boys do (largely because they lack the height and the leap to be able to dunk the ball).
If it was not for me basically committing to Baseball (I run the music during Baseball season during home games and normally travel with the team during away games for stat keeping) I would be at many Softball games this past year. Normally baseball games are during the same time as Softball games so I'm unable to really attend most of the games (and in turn, Track Meets, Tennis and Golf Tournaments as well)
The Softball team - like every other OHS team - needs the support of the Student Body and the faithful that is the OHS fan base. There should be no reason that if Softball has the only game being played at home that day, they should get several students to come to the game. The team might actually get some motivation to win double-digit games next season if the students are behind them.
Oxford won 5 State Championships last year, 2 from the Girls side and 1 that is a coed championship (Tennis), there is no doubt there is talent with the girls at OHS and talent on the Softball team. The new coaches will do all they can to showcase it, the fans need to come out and see them show out and not just the parents of that talent. Coach Blackmon has always done a great job with the Baseball team, there's no doubt that the Softball program will rise to the point where they finally will make the playoffs on a consistent basis, perhaps maybe a State Championship themselves - something that has never been done with the program.
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