GUYTON — The season opener for the South Effingham softball team is drawing near and it was just two weeks ago that first-year head coach Jessica Evans was able to assemble her squad.
Evans said tryouts are usually conducted in May and, although she’s pleased to have her roster complete, the uncertainty of not knowing what’s to come is bothersome.
“The unknown is what is still lingering,” she said. “This year with everything — it got us pushed back to after dead week (June 28-July 4). Now we have the team.
“We are working hard to get ready for August 8. It’s really exciting but at the same time you are trying to get a feel for the girls and team chemistry, and you have a little bit of time to piece that together.”
Despite coronavirus-related challenges, Evans is gearing up for the season like she normally would.
“I’m full-steam ahead like every other year,” she said.
She and her coaching staff were able to set up game-like situations for tryouts. The athletes went through a variety of offensive and defensive drills.
Evans said, “You give the girls an opportunity to go to positions in which they feel comfortable — at that time, we were able to hit them ground balls and they were able to throw them in and fly balls — and then we did live pitching off of a pitching machine. We gauged it like a game.”
And the tryout session was a little bit of a relief for the coaches, too.
“Anytime we can get out there is fun,” Evans said. “All of us coaches are excited to be there because this is what we want to do. We don’t want to be sitting at home.”
The Lady Mustangs will kick their season off at the Harlem Invitational. As they get closer and closer to the start of the season, Evans is working hard with her team to ensure they are comfortable with how the new coaching staff operates.
“Basically, getting your game plan as far as understanding what are our signs, things like that — you have to get that down because each coach likes things differently,” Evans said.
Evans said the Lady Mustangs know how to work together
“One thing I see is the camaraderie already,” she said. “The thing I like is they are meshing from young to old. They are respecting each other and I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve seen is the respect from the young to the older girls.”