By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
Blevins stepping down at softball coach
TomahawkSportsEditor@gmail.comThe administration at Johnson County High School has decided to move in another direction with its high school softball program. Head coach Angela Blevins resigned her coaching position on Friday after learning that she would not be coaching the team next season.
Blevins had some impressive credentials as a college player at the University of Pennsylvania where she is listed in the school’s Hall of Fame.
She was an All-Conference player for three seasons and was a Verizon Academic All-American. She set many records as a player while at
Blevins scored 133 runs, recorded 219 hits in 623 plate appearances all school records. She was a Regional All American for three seasons and served as a head softball coach in Pennsylvania for one year.
This year she proved her worth by winning two games in the District 1-AA tournament with probably the youngest team in Northeast, Tennessee.
The Longhorns started three freshmen, five sophomores, and a junior in their big win over Sullivan South before falling 4-3 to a much improved Happy Valley squad.
They recently won the conference junior varsity tournament by defeating Elizabethton, Happy Valley, and Sullivan East.
Blevins’ team kept showing signs of improvement, but lack of players on the roster was one area of concern.
The Longhorns dressed only 13 players which included one senior and two juniors.
Blevins will remain at the high school as a teacher. She has been in Johnson County for 14 years.
Reece tabbed as new high school softball coach
It took only a weekend for Johnson County High School to find their new head softball coach after Angela Blevins resigned that position on Friday.
Middle school head coach Greg Reece will take over the program after working his way up through the ranks in the profession.
Reece has coached softball for 16 years as a Little League coach, travel ball and All-Start in addition to his decade of service at Johnson County Middle School.
His junior high team recently won the conference’s end of the season tournament over Unaka 13-2. Reece gave thanks to that squad.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to work with the middle school players, parents and administration, said Reece. We have an ideal situation with some many talented girls coming in from Little League and travel ball. Those two systems have been our feeders, and I am deeply appreciative and still dedicated to making sure that they have what they need to succeed and flourish.”
Reece stated that his selection is a new start for everyone including returning players and players that may have left the program. He said they and all up and coming middle school players are welcome to try out.
“My job as a coach is to see that players excel on the field and in the classroom. I want our kids to play the game with a high level of discipline but with the confidence.”
Reece used a quote from former NBA star Charles Barkley about his expectations.
“If you are afraid of failure, then you do not deserve success.” The only way we can step up to that next level is by knowing our limits, and then stretching them to fit our
Reece said that his 16 years of coaching had taught him that to win games you have to score runs and put pressure on your opponents with explosive innings.
“You can overcome error or days when your pitchers are struggling, but you cannot overcome not scoring runs,” added Reece. “When we have the opportunity for a big inning, we will jump on it. We definitely will not be one dimensional. Everyone will learn to be proficient at bunting and play the short game. Teams that play us will have to defend the entire
Reece hopes to improve on the team’s hitting with a three-dimensional approach. He said that bat speed is critical. He also will use the
DP and flex rule to play the team’s best nine offensive
Reece will be conducting tryouts sometime soon. He planned on meeting with
players from the middle and high school programs on Monday.
Reece leaves the junior high program after winning the past three conference tournament championships.