Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY


June 30, 2014

Barren County 8U girls prepare for state tourney

GLASGOW — Chris Smith and his assistant coaches, Brian Long and Kelly Deckard, may have one of the most difficult jobs of any all-star coaching staff this summer. Smith is the head coach of the Barren County 8-Under Softball All-Stars and keeping 8-year-olds focused on the task at hand, at times, can be difficult.

But how Smith and his staff handle that issue this weekend may prove to be a turning points as Barren County begins play Thursday in the 8U State Tournament in Louisville. Competition will run from Thursday through Sunday at Fern Creek High School.

“If I had to pick a key for this team (to win the state tournament) it would have to be to play as a team and remain focused,” Smith said. “With 8U girls, it is sometimes hard to keep them focused on the task at hand.”

However, Smith said team practices have been going very well and his players seem to be prepared for the tournament.

“We’re looking pretty good.  I think we have a lot of experience on our team this year,” Smith explained. “We have six girls returning from last year’s team that went to the state tournament and finished second. That’s half of our team. Then, the other girls played in the league last year and have improved a lot since then, so we’re looking pretty good right now. We’re all pretty much on the same page.”

Smith’s squad does have a lot of experience. The team includes: Mary Schalk, Ashton Billingsley, Ally Buie, Jolee Shartzer, Kennedy Sutherland, Cailee Hernandez, Alexa Horton, Mia Long, Adison Smith, Shea Jones and Gracey Deckard.

Smith said his team has a lot of offensive punch and should be able to put some runs over the plate. The key, he added, is that this year’s Barren County team is also strong playing the field.

“I think we have a really good offensive team. We can hit the ball real well and we have good speed,” Smith explained. “We also have some power hitters that can put the ball in the outfield, so we probably won’t see many low scoring games. (I believe) we could get close to double digits in most games.

“As far as defense goes, I believe, we’re probably one of the best teams you will see out there. I think it is actually the strongest part of our team. We’ve got a lot of girls that can catch the ball well and know where to throw the ball when they catch it. That’s a key. They’re looking pretty good right now.”

Prairie Village was the premiere team in last year’s state tournament and they dominated the opposition. Smith feels things might be different this year.

“From what I have been hearing, the tournament field this year should be pretty even,” Smith said. “I don’t see any one team running away with it. (For us to win) we’ve got to be on top of our game on every play.”

Text Only
Daily Times sports photo

Barren County vs. Glasgow Challenge Cup boys golf