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East Clarendon High School
Turbeville

East Clarendon tabs Baker to take over softball program

 

By Justin Driggers

Special Correspondent

 

Turbeville – Entering the offseason, East Clarendon High School Athletic Director Scott Cook knew he had one big spot to fill on the school’s coaching staff.

Softball coach Lisa Ard stepped away following the 2018 season. During her tenure, the Lady Wolverines played for the Class A state championship in five of the last six seasons and came away with a pair of titles in 2013 and 2017.

Fortunately for Cook and ECHS, they didn’t have to look very far to find Ard’s successor.

Assistant coach Andy Baker, who coached beside Ard during the Lady Wolverines’ recent run of success, was recently given the reins of the program.

“We’re very excited about having Coach Baker stay on,” Cook said. “He’s been an assistant and our third base coach for a number of years now and he’s coached some of the recreation league teams here to the World Series.”

That type of continuity within the program and familiarity with the players were key selling points, Cook said.

“We interviewed a few people, but after taking everything into consideration we felt like he was the best choice for the job,” Cook said. “He’s coached a lot of these girls since they were little and he’s done a good job.”

Cook said that in talking with Baker he expects the ECHS softball team to focus on fundamentals as well as plenty of work in the offseason.

“In talking with Andy, I know he stresses being fundamentally sound and doing a lot of the little things well,” Cook said. “I know he’s committed to being there in the offseason as well and making sure they’re working on things and being in the weight room when they need to be.”

Baker wasn’t the only new hire, although East Clarendon kept the majority of its staff intact from a season ago, Cook said. One new name is Cameron Sebnick who will be taking over the tennis program.

“We’re very excited about her,” Cook said. “She’s worked with the (United State Tennis Association) and she’s very excited about coming in and coaching our program.”

ECHS will also field a competitive cheer team this year for the first time in school history and Devin Gibbons has been tabbed to coach the new program.

“She went to school at East Clarendon and she’s come back home,” Cook said. “Cheer is something we started after beginning JV and middle school basketball programs last year and cross country the year before. We’ve got a lot of kids who like to participate (in athletics) and we want to give them as much opportunity as possible.”

Cook also has an addition to his varsity football coaching staff as assistant Joedy Cook (no relation) comes up from Georgetown to handle the offensive line duties. Joedy Cook also previously coached at Hemingway.

“It’s going to be a big boost for us along the offensive line and I think in our weight room as well,” Scott Cook said.

The new Cook joins a staff of seven other assistant/volunteer coaches for the Wolverines this season. The B-Team football coach is LaQuan Barnes.

For volleyball, Hope Baker handles the varsity duties while Roslynn Watford will guide the junior varsity squad. Hope Baker will also serve as the junior varsity softball coach.

Rounding out fall sports, Season Johnson is at the helm of the ECHS cross country program.

For basketball, Seneca Barron will coach the varsity boys with John Butler coaching the JV squad and Kevin Graham handling the head coaching duties for the middle school team.

On the girls side, Barnes will be the junior varsity head coach and will return as an assistant to varsity head coach Mike Lowder, who guided the Lady Wolverines to the Class A state title last season – the first in school history.

Will McMillan returns as the varsity baseball coach with Scott Cook handling the duties for the JV squad. Benny Knowlton coaches the middle school team.

Patrick Kelly is back at the helm of the golf program with Clintune Bethune and Candace Barron coaching the boys and girls track teams, respectively.

Cheerleading sponsors for the year include Karen Creech, Deyvn Gibbons, Barron, Brandi Baker and Andrea Sumney.

 

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