polo jeans New Sherwood coach inherits top team
There is a long list of reasons that back up the notion first year Sherwood High School softball coach Ashley Barber Strunk has stepped into the most enviable coaching position in Montgomery County. The 2002 Richard Montgomery graduate after all inherited a two time defending Class 4A state championship program on a 42 game winning streak that returns six starters, including the county best pitcher in Towson University recruit Meggie Dejter.
It is, however, just as easy prove that the member of Lock Haven University 2006 NCAA Division II national championship team undertaking marks the start of a journey few would dare embark on.
Barber Strunk has to fill the shoes of a well respected 17 year coach who took the Sherwood program to new heights, putting her in prime position to feel the brunt of any slip in the Warriors dominance. While Sherwood former junior varsity coach admitted that concept isn lost on her, any remnants of anxiety are overshadowed by the excitement that surrounds the opportunity to put her spin on a program ripe with athletes just as passionate about, and dedicated to, softball as she is.
coach] Pat [Flanagan] was here for so long, at this point it about establishing my lines, Barber Strunk said. was worried at first that [the team] might be like, aren we doing things this way, or aren we doing things that way. I feel like I doing things the right way. is, according to Dejter.
Given Sherwood recent results it hard to imagine the Warriors need to change much, but Barber Strunk made it perfectly clear on the first day of practice this spring that she would not settle for a team set on cruise control, that there no room in the Sandy Spring program for complacency, Dejter said. Barber Strunk approach she said she implements many of the drills and conditioning she did in college is different than the traditional style Sherwood is used to, but Dejter said the change has helped to keep the Warriors on their toes.
They might actually need to be on guard defensively more so this season than in recent years. Despite returning the majority of its high scoring lineup, Sherwood did lose two of its most powerful hitters. While the Warriors are still more than capable of producing runs, the scoring differential might not be as much as it has been, Dejter said. Sherwood did win its 43rd consecutive game with Saturday 12 0 season opening victory against Thomas S. Wootton.
think [the changes are] good because we don want to get too comfortable and overconfident with what we have, it good to get a new view point, Dejter said. did just play in college a couple years ago and won a national championship so she has so much she able to teach us. It good because she does kind of knock us down a level. She really does push us. She been where we are and even better.
A catcher turned outfielder, Barber Strunk brought in her cousin, former Our Lady of Good Counsel ace pitcher Kim Bartlett, who primarily played third base at Methodist University, as an assistant coach. Between the two, they provide expertise in all areas of the diamond.
Student athletes can be defiant in the face of change, but Barber Strunk credibility and experience makes it difficult for the Warriors not to trust in everything she does, Dejter said. Perhaps even more important, the right handed hurler added, is the open channel of coach athlete communication Barber Strunk encourages. Her youth also helps her relatability, Dejter said.
you skeptical all you have to do is talk to her and she explains it fully, Dejter said. doesn try to hide anything, she knows exactly what she talking about. She explains everything and how it going to help us, I think it really good to have that openness.
Barber Strunk said her love for softball grew with the unity of her college team and that is a very important aspect of the game she aims to convey at Sherwood. The team has already come together in support of her efforts early, she and Dejter agreed. It no secret that all eyes are on Barber Strunk and the substantially sized shoes she has to fill. But the Warriors have rallied around someone who has already earned their respect.
think in the beginning she was a lot more nervous than now and especially the returning players, we definitely stepped in and were like, whatever you need from us, we here, we your team and we want to support you fully, Dejter said. really made this a team thing. She got such a passion for the game which everyone can see and it puts it on us, we want to impress her and we want to make her feel good about what she doing.