GUYTON — A lead horse at South Effingham is going home. He will become a Wildcat when he gets there.
Mustangs baseball coach Todd Eubanks has been hired to head the baseball and softball programs at Region 7-AAAAA Woodland in Cartersville. The move became official Monday night during a Bartow County Board of Education meeting.
“It is a good situation,” Eubanks said. “I’ve been in Bartow County before. Actually, I’ve been there twice.
“I was an assistant at Cass one time and went back later as the head baseball coach and ended up being the head baseball and softball coach there.”
Eubanks called his new job “a good situation.” The Wildcats softball team will lose only two players to graduation after advancing to the Final Four last year. Woodland’s baseball squad earned a playoff spot in 2022 and will graduate only three players.
“More importantly, our granddaughter and our daughter live there,” Eubanks said, “so for Wendy (wife) and myself it’s a great opportunity go back and be grandparents.
“It’s been four years of not seeing (my 5-year-old granddaughter Piper), missing plays, awards shows and everything else. It’s been tough but we get a chance to go back and be ‘Pop Pop.’ ”
During Eubanks’ stint at South Effingham, the baseball team compiled a 77-41 record, including 50 wins in the last two years. The 2021 Mustangs won the Region 2-AAAAAA championship.
In addition, 13 Mustangs received opportunities to play at the college level.
“I just had a wonderful time being able to watch these young kids grow up from boys to young men,” Eubanks said.
Eubanks told the Mustangs about his career change Friday. They were stunned by the news.
“Once I explained it to them, they understood,” Eubanks said.
Under Eubanks’ tutelage, the Mustangs developed a strong relationship with special-needs children from the Effingham County Navigator Team. They befriended them while coaching them at Josh Reddick Stadium in Springfield.
“We built a good relationship there and did some other things in the community,” Eubanks said.
Eubanks was not in charge of South Effingham’s softball team but he spent three seasons as an assistant coach. In 2019, he was named interim coach after Samantha Tracy was relieved of her duties late in the season.
“I enjoyed being part of the softball program,” Eubanks said. “I’m leaving kids that I care about but I’m going home.”
Eubanks thanked former Principal Dr. Mark Winters, former Assistant Principal Ron Womack and former athletic director Jeff Faith for giving him his chance at South Effingham.
“They gave me the opportunity to get South Effingham back to where it should be,” Eubanks said. “I’d like to think in my four years here that we’ve taken it back to state prominence and being a well-respected program. They gave me the opportunity to do that and I am thankful for that.
“Currently, (Principal) Dr. (Torian) White and coach (athletic director Nick) Smith allowed me to do my job and I appreciate them for that.”