EJCHS softball coach Brent Howell transitions into new job this summer
AS A multi-sport assistant coach for nearby Banks County, Brent Howell crossed paths several times with East Jackson and liked what he saw from the school just down Hwy. 441.
Now, he’s joined the Eagle athletic program.
Howell takes over as East Jackson Comprehensive High School softball coach for Jason Rainey, who coached East Jackson for five seasons and led the Eagles to region titles in 2007 and 2008.
“I have had the chance to coach against EJCHS for the last several years and have been impressed with the players and the school,” Howell said. “The administration has been great to work with during my transition, and I believe that EJCHS has the ability to be very competitive not only on the field but in the classroom as well.”
East Jackson is coming off a 7-15-1 campaign in 2011.
This is Howell’s first head varsity coaching assignment following three years as an assistant softball coach at Banks County during which the Leopards went 57-34. He also served as the junior varsity softball head coach.
His other coaching experience included stints as a head junior varsity baseball coach, an assistant football coach and golf coach in his seven years at Banks County.
Howell said he’s looking forward to a busy summer of working with his new softball team, which he said appears eager to get on the field.
To avoid conflicts with summer basketball in June, Howell has devised a full slate of games and practices in July (following the GHSA-mandated dead week for the Fourth of July). That includes taking part in a summer league with Stephens County, Banks County, Jefferson and Franklin County.
Howell puts a high premium on summer softball in general. But this summer, the stakes are even higher as he and the players get acquainted with each other in preparation for the fall.
“The summer is very critical to me and our program,” Howell said. “I believe that is where you get better as a player and a team. The summer practices and games allow the girls to get use to me as a coach and the system I will be putting in. I have indicated to the girls that summer is where teams are conditioned and prepared for the season.”
As for this fall, Howell’s goals extend beyond merely being competitive.
“Our goal every year will be to make the state playoffs, compete for the region championship, compete not only in every game but every play, and to be successful off the field as well — in the classroom and community,” he said.
It’s his long-term aim to build upon the tradition at East Jackson.
“The program won two region championships in its first two seasons of existence, which set the standard,” Howell said. “I told the players and parents at our meeting that my priorities are on God, family, academics and softball. I have challenged the girls and parents to prioritize what is the most important to them as well. I believe that our success will not only be judged on the field but how the girls perform in the classroom and in the community. Softball teaches the girls so many lessons that can prepare them for their life after softball.”