MOULTRIE – Beginning Monday, the Georgia High School Association goes through its summertime ‘Dead Week,’ which also happens to be a holiday week.
The Colquitt County High softball program likes that idea so much, it is going to have two ‘Dead Weeks.’ It’s something the Packers feel they earned after nearly a month of workouts and games.
Head coach Chance Pitts reported Thursday that the Packers, after wrapping up the two-day Vereen Tournament at Moultrie’s Knuck McCrary Park, got in 16 varsity practice games in four locations with eight more by the junior varsity. The Vereen event brought about 13 teams into town with Colquitt County getting in three varsity and four JV contests.
Pitts said it all started right after the Memorial Day holiday, and during the past month they also played games in Thomasville, Early County and Cook County. So in addition to taking next week off, Pitts is giving the players and coaches a second week of break before workouts continue on July 16.
The week after that, on July 22-24, Pitts is bringing back the Little Lady Packers softball camp to Packer Park. He said this will be their first camp for rising 1st-6th graders in about four years.
The 2019 fall season begins in August, and there will be significant changes in both the schedule and Pitts’ support staff. The most notable departure is assistant coach Taylor Barber, who is now a Colquitt County region rival as the new head coach at Tift County High. Pitts said he hated to lose Barber after working with him the past three seasons as head coach, but he is also happy for him to earn that big opportunity.
Pitts’ new pitching coach is Melissa Sutton, who is actually returning to the softball staff after departing three years ago. Pitts said he is retaining Steve Austin as junior varsity head coach, and Spencer Richardson is the catching coach.
One quite familiar face around Packer Park, retired head baseball coach Tony Kirkland, is also going to help out some in softball.
“The girls love him,” said Pitts. “He certainly knows about swings and the mental side.”
The softball schedule’s major change for 2019 is the expansion of the Region 1-7A schedule from six to 12 games. Before, the Packers only saw the other three region clubs one time in a doubleheader. Now, it’s home at-home for four games each against Tift, Lowndes and Camden County.
In the playoffs, Pitts said the second-place team meets the first-place team while No. 3 hosts No. 4.