JACKSON COUNTY Comprehensive High School has turned to a former Jefferson Dragon to fill its softball head coaching vacancy.
Jefferson graduate Chessie Archer was named to the position last Wednesday, taking over for Lisa Robinson who resigned following last season.
“I am thrilled to have been given this opportunity to coach such a great group of hard-working girls,” said Archer, who’s headed up the West Jackson Middle School softball program the last three years.
Jackson County athletic director Joe Lancaster said the school selected Archer because she has the most softball experience of anyone on staff at Jackson County Schools.
“We’re looking forward to having her and things picking up and moving toward the season,” Lancaster said.
Archer, who graduated from rival Jefferson in 2003, played softball under Demaris Gurley for the Lady Dragons and basketball under both Kevin Jacobs and Brandi Corbett.
She also played basketball collegiately at Brenau, where she graduated in 2008.
Though reared as a Lady Dragon, she’s as familiar as anyone with Jackson County’s softball program having coached much of the current varsity roster while it was in middle school.
In fact, Archer compiled a sparkling 36-6 record in her three seasons at West Jackson, winning one Quad County League Championship and coaching the program to two Quad County runners-up finishes with players she’ll now coach again this fall.
Archer will use her familiarity to her advantage in her new post.
“I believe my experience working with the girls at the middle school level helps bridge the gap a coach completely new may have,” Archer said. “Out of the girls in the program now, I have had the opportunity to coach 13 of the returning players as well as the talented group of upcoming ninth graders. I’ve also been able to help out with summer workouts at the high school over the past two summers, which also has allowed me to get to know the players and their athletic abilities.”
Archer takes over for a program that last made the state tournament in 2009. Jackson County went 16-11-2 last year, falling one victory shy of advancing to the state tournament in 2010. Nearly all that roster returns for the 2011 season.
The new coach likes the make-up of her first team.
“We are returning a strong core of players, including two experienced pitchers,” she said. “My expectation for next season is to compete against a tough region, which included two of the top five teams in the state last year. Our off-season preparation will include conditioning and fine-tuning aspects of our game that we feel will help make us successful.”