By Matt Hill
The JCMS Softball Program has been on the way up in recent years and that trend is expected to continue with another talented squad on display in 2010.
The Lady Longhorns earned their first winning season in the history of the program, a strong feat considering some of the players who have come through JCMS in the last decade.
Were expecting a good year, JCMS head coach Greg Reece said. From about the midpoint on we played strong. Theres some strong eighth graders returning that play well as a group. The seventh grade group is very hungry and want to play.
The girls from both classes are very experienced.
The Little League has done a great job getting them on travel teams, Reece said. A bunch of these girls played in Bristol and lost one game to Tennessee Highs Freshmen team. We expect to compete. Happy Valley is strong, Unaka is always tough and Hampton has a new coach.
There are also several non-conference games, against Washington County and Sullivan County schools.
The team includes Liza Watson, Hope Nelson, Kelsey Watson, MacKenzie Bauer, Abby Reece, Cindi Edington, Hannah Wheeler, Rachel Poteet, Kalli Sluder, Meghan Walters, Brooke Brown, Sarah Tierney, Amber Morefield, Callie Smith, Valerie Parker, Brianne Roark, Jenna McNeil, Demi Blevins, Brooke Garr.
Reece will be assisted by Penny Gentry, who has been coaching since the start of the program..
The Lady Longhorns played in a preseason tournament two weeks ago and did well.
The Lady Longhorns beat Jonesborough, lost to Ridgeview and Lamar and went extra innings with T.A. Dugger, Elizabethton Highs feeder school.
The thing I was most impressed with was they held the errors down, Reece said.
Reece is excited about the season.
Its a fun group, he said.