BRENT Howell won’t officially make his head-coaching debut with East Jackson until August, but he’ll get a sneak preview this month of what his new job will be like.
The Eagles — coming off a 7-15-1 season last year — will play eight summer scrimmages in an exhibition season that runs until July 26. Though it’s not the real thing yet, it’s still an exciting time for Howell and his new pupils.
“It is very exciting to get on the field and play someone else,” said Howell, who was previously an assistant at Banks County. “Our goal every time that we step onto the field is to get better, compete and win. We will focus mainly on execution and getting better this summer.”
More specifically, Howell said his group will work on defense, pitching and base running.
“I hope to see the girls become more comfortable with our defense alignments and the mental aspect of the game,” Howell said.
The coach said these summer games will also allow for assessment of every position, particularly the middle of the infield — catcher, pitcher, shortstop, second base and center field.
“We have to be strong up the middle,” Howell said. “Our goal will be to use the summer to assess the girls in multiple positions.”
This is of course a summer of transition with Howell coming aboard, but the transition appears to be going well with how the Eagles — who move up to Region 8-AAA this year — are responding. In fact, numerous players have already stepped up in summer workouts according to Howell. He said that’s especially true of the team’s upperclassmen — seniors Alx Wheeler and Taylor Nix and juniors Emily Turner, Brittany Nolan, Destiny McHann and Beth Doss.
“Our seniors and juniors will hopefully lead the way for our sophomores and freshman,” Howell said.