There is a true sense of excitement in the air surrounding the Banks County High School fast-pitch softball program.
The Lady Leopards are eager for the 2008 season which will allow them to compete at their new facility.
In addition, a stability within the program should help give BCHS a chance to be successful on the field this fall.
Many of the returning BCHS players will get an early start on the upcoming campaign by working in a summer program directed by coach Josh Lord in the coming weeks.
Recently, Lord outlined what he would like to accomplish during the summer schedule:
•start evaluating players to see who will help the team fill the gaps left by graduation.
“Competing in the summer league is greatly beneficial to us,” the coach said. “It gives us a jump start on the season by allowing us to see players in real game situations. It’s a fun time and the players gain confidence with the experience.”
Lord said the upcoming fall season will be an exciting one for his team.
“We hope to have a productive summer that will give us momentum going into what will be a very competitive schedule,” he said. “Our non-region schedule includes Commerce, Habersham Central, East Hall and tournaments at Commerce and Lanier Point. I look for those games to prime us for the region.”
The Lady Leopards will play a complete region schedule in 2008 which includes defending region champion East Jackson, former Class A power Jefferson and 2006 state champion North Oconee.
“Our region will be tough,” Lord said. “However, our players and coaches believe we have the capability to play with all of them.”
Overall, the coach sees the program on solid ground.
“It’s our fourth year as a coaching staff and that has provided valuable stability,” Lord said. “The players and coaches have been loyal to each other and that has helped us foster a productive, hard working, enjoyable atmosphere. The support and efforts of the community, parents and school administration have us set to play at our new complex this year. Everyone is extremely excited and proud about that. Our players are first class and represent us well on and off the field.”
The first league game for BCHS is Thursday against North Oconee at 4:30 p.m. followed by a 7:30 p.m. contest against Stephens County. Games are played at Diamond Hill Park on Hwy. 29.