The Whiteoak Lady Wildcats softball team has had a tumultuous 2017 season that saw them finish with a regular season record of 6-11. The Lady Wildcats won their first game of the tournament before falling to the number one seeded Clay team to finish 7-12 overall.
Whiteoak’s ladies will welcome Mike Ames as their new head coach this season as he relaces Trisha Schneider in the dugout.
Ames told The Times-Gazette that he is going to concentrate on how he can help his girls use the sport of softball as a tool to help them get an education after high school.
“Right now my main thing is to get these kids scholarships. I’m not looking for wins or losses. I am looking for money to get my kids to further their education. That is going to be my goal from now on,” Ames said.
Ames went on to talk about the need his athletes, and other students within the Bright Local School District, have for money to further their education.
“We are Bright Local, 65 percent of our students are on free and reduced price lunches. These kids need money to further their education. That is our goal, bottom line,” said Ames.
The Lady Wildcats coach talked a little about how he plans to help his athletes get money for their post high school educational needs.
“We are working to get colleges to come out and see them play. I have two players right now that colleges are looking at. I have told the girls from day one that softball is fun, its work and it is a tool. It is a tool to get your education to that next level,” coach Ames said.
Coach Ames believes that he has three or four players on the team this year that are going to perform well, but he chose to keep the names close to vest.
“I have a few that I think are going to be sleepers, I think they are going to be really good in the days to come. I have high expectations for three or four of these kids. I think their numbers, as far as hitting goes, are going to speak for themselves. You will know exactly who it is,” Ames said slyly.
Ames is in the process of setting up a 50/50 drawing at the Lady Wildcats home games as well as acquiring a sponsor for a proposed “hit-the-sponsors-sign” batting game to be held after home contests.
“We are working on doing a 50/50 drawing and maybe some giveaways at some of the games. I am hoping to get a sponsor for a sign in centerfield that if the batter can hit the sign from a tee, as a spectator, they can win a gift certificate to the sponsor’s restaurant,” Ames said.
The Lady Wildcats first three games will be on the road before returning home on Wednesday, March 28, to take on SHAC rivals the Lady Dragons of West Union.
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.