Charles Kerney has been coaching youth sports for many years and has seen numerous teams come through the Barren County Youth Sports League.
So when Kerney talks pretty confidently about his team’s chances to win the 10-Under State Softball Tournament this weekend, you have to sit up and take notice.
“In the past, there was a lot of walking and not much hitting in these tournaments. However, these girls have really picked up their skill level over the last couple of years. They’ve come together,” Kerney said. “We had 30 girls try out for the all-stars and we took 15. And with this team, I could put nine girls out there and take six girls out (and when we replace them), we would still have a good team. There is no difference in these girls. They’re all highly competitive and they want to win.”
Barren County will open the state tournament at 4 p.m. Thursday in Louisville. The local all-stars will play Germantown at Fern Creek High School.
“We have more participation this year in the league. Also, there is more and better coaching,” Kerney explained. “I have watched a lot of softball. These girls that I am coaching right now, I have a lot of expectations. I think this will be our county’s best opportunity in a long time to actually win the state title. I am expecting it. Anything less and I will be highly disappointed.”
Besides Barren County, the tournament will include: Germantown, Edmonson County, Auburn, Fern Creek Orange, Purchase Area, Prairie Village, Mount Washington, Jeffersontown and Fern Creek Black.
“Prairie Village and Fern Creek are usually the powerhouses in this tournament,” Kerney explained. “For us, we’ve got to play one game at a time in this tournament.
“Our defense has to stand out and I think this defense will produce some offense. If I score only two runs, that’s fine with me because I know my defense, including my pitching, will shut them out. That’s how much confidence I have in my pitching and defense.”