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Friday, May 6, 2016

Greencastle attacks season with first-year head coach, experience

Saturday, April 2, 2011

It's tough to start a season, but when a first-year head coach is thrown into the mix, sometimes it's hard to know what to expect. The good news for GHS, first-year head coach Chasity Wood was an assistant last year, so the Tiger Cubs enter 2011 on the fast track.

Wood said she's not sure what's in store exactly, but said she wants to build something special at GHS.

"I'm not really sure what to expect this year or what this season has in store for me personally, but my goal is to continue to build a program of stability, growth, and tradition," Wood said. "I want to create a place for my players to know what to expect when they step onto the field, grow as individuals and enjoy being a part of something special."

She also said being part of the team last year reduces the "get to know you phase", which will only benefit the Tiger Cubs.

Three seniors will help power the Tiger Cubs into the current season with the help of some experienced juniors. That mix should prove to be powerful for GHS.

"We have 11 returning players from last year including three seniors, Kayla Downing, Skyanne White and Kay Wood and all three have very specific and pivotal roles for this team on the field and in the locker room," she said. "Our team captains this year are Taylor Pruitt and Riley Seahorn who are both juniors."

Adapting is something every good team needs to do from time to time and GHS is no different. Fortunately, according to Wood, that his one of her team's strong suits.

"There have been some changes and we will continue to change and improve but I feel like the key to our success is our ability to adapt," Wood said. "So that's what we will do -- moving forward every practice, every game, every day."

It doesn't matter if you're looking at baseball or softball, if a team has big bats, speed on the bases and the ability to play solid defense, wins have a tendency to mount up. Wood said her team possesses the ability for such feats, which could make for an interesting season.

"Offensively, we're returning several key hitters from a season ago and I think this will be an area of strength for us this year," Wood said. "We've got some power in the middle of the lineup, we have versatility and we have some speed at the top of the lineup. We can do a couple different things with the bat, so hopefully we'll be able to move runners over better than we have in the past and drive them in."

Expectations are high for Greencastle this season and Wood believes the team will learn much more than playing the game of softball.

"I'm very excited about the group of women we have this year. We had a young group last year that is returning -- they're committed to hard work, dedicated to improvement and excited about taking this program to the next level. I really feel like they get it, they realize that this program comes before self and softball lessons really translate to life lessons . As a coach I care most about developing my players as strong women, responsible student-athletes and then dedicated softball players."