Read more about Ingomar softball in Wednesday’s Daily Journal.
Andy Wilbanks just wanted to coach baseball, but when you come to a small school like Ingomar, you have to be versatile. So part of Wilbanks’ package when he was hired prior to last school year was to be the slow-pitch softball coach. He was replacing Chris Kidd, who’d led the Lady Falcons to three state championships.
No pressure. Wilbanks promptly guided Ingomar to title No. 4 last October. “I didn’t really know what to expect with girls,” he said moments after Ingomar swept Bogue Chitto, “but I’m telling you, I’ve really enjoyed it, and it’s a great group to be around.”
He’s still enjoying it. Just as importantly, he’s not going through the motions, thinking ahead to baseball season, as I’m sure coaches in such a situation are tempted to do. He’s working to make the team better, and it’s showed – the Lady Falcons were 24-3 heading into Tuesday night’s game with Nettleton, and they’ve wrapped up the Region 4-1A title and a No. 1 playoff seed.
“They’re a determined group for the most part, just keeping them focused from game to game is our main objective right now,” he said Monday. “We just try to stress to them, no matter who you play, bring the same focus, same intensity. Sometimes that’s hard for us.”
The players are listening, which is the best sign that Wilbanks is fitting in. “Whenever we do bad, he tells us, but whenever we do good, he just uplifts us and helps us,” senior Molly Speck said. “He’s a good coach.”