If it were based on enthusiasm and effort, the O’Bannon High School softball team would probably have a perfect record this season.
On Tuesday afternoon during their 26-16 victory over MS Palmer, the Greenwaves’ passion for the sport was on full display. After each play, either positive or negative, the O’Bannon players shouted words of encouragement to their teammates. The strong vibe was infectious.
“They have been like this all year,” said O’Bannon coach Ashley Redmond. “It started before the conditioning during the season, and they have kept chanting and cheering all season long. We believe in high energy. When we are down, we believe in bringing more energy. ”
The O’Bannon girls have had a lot to cheer about recently. After a somewhat slow start, they now have a 3-1 record in District 3-2A.
Coach Redmond, a former softball standout at Simmons High School, took over the Waves program two seasons ago, but because of COVID-19 this is her first actual season at the helm.
She said she has seen much improvement since beginning her tenure, and she gives assistant coach Javis Robinson a good deal of credit for the team’s success.
Most of Redmond’s girls, like pitchers Charlissa Barney and Shakira Hartley, have never played fast pitch softball before this season.
“It has taken a lot for them to adjust to fast pitch softball, but they are really starting to get better,” Coach Redmond said. “The biggest highlight is in seeing their overall improvement.”
Along with her young pitcher, the O’Bannon coach has also been impressed with the strong work ethic of many of her position players, including Joyia Clark (first base), D’Aizha Landrum (shortstop), Janiya Cleveland (second base) and Raven Johnson (centerfield).
“The biggest thing my players are learning are leadership skills and how to work together,” Coach Redmond said.