Mill Valley, DeSoto have new coaches
Pat Sullivan was recognized last spring in Washington D.C. as one of the top math teachers in the United States.
This spring, his goal will be to have his Mill Valley softball program recognized as one of the best around.
Sullivan was named last week as Mill Valley`s first softball coach.
While he would admit he has a lot to learn about softball, his background, which included coaching high school baseball, will certainly give him a leg up on knowing the rules of the game
Still, there are some nuances that differentiate the two games, Novak admitted.
"If you took a very hard core baseball coach and a hard core softball coach, they would say there are difference," Novak said. "But there are some similarities. Both use a round ball and the rules aren`t so different.
"He`s going to do a great job."
So is Glenda Williams at DeSoto, says DeSoto Principal Debbie Lynn.
Williams, a physical education and health teacher, takes over for Randy Keith, who guided the Wildcats to a fourth-place finish at the Kansas Class 5A softball tournament in Salina in May.
Keith resigned his position at the end of the season, citing the need to spend more time operating his business.
He left at a good time. The split of DeSoto`s talent pool will make it hard for the Wildcats to repeat as Kaw Valley League champions. The task becomes even more difficult when you consider that both of DeSoto`s pitchers from a year ago transferred to Mill Valley High.
Senior Ashley Perkins and sophomore Tiffani Thurman will be on Sullivan`s roster next spring, as will a handful of position players -- catcher Amy Siler, outfielder Brooke Woolery and designated hitter Kristi McCluer, among others.
"There is a pretty good core of players," Novak said. "I think (Sullivan) is going to do a great job with what he has coming back."