With summer baseball less than one week away from starting, the Banks County diamond Leopards were introduced to their new head coach and assistants on Monday.
Coach Dean Goodwin will step into the role left by former head coach Joe Lord, who resigned to pursue other interests, earlier in the month.
A parent meeting with the new coaching staff is being scheduled, at press time it was set for June 3.
Goodwin, who also will remain as head coach for the Lady Leopards’ softball team, told players on Monday that his goal is for every one of the players to experience playing at the next level.
“You are going to be lucky enough to have three coaches that have played at the next level,” Goodwin told the players. “That is exciting. I want – and coach Bowen has talked about – each one of you to experience what we got to experience and that is playing at the next level. There is no other feeling like playing sports at the next level.”
Alongside Goodwin coaching will be assistant coaches Tony Bowen and Brent Howell. Bowen has opted to step away from his football coaching position to assist with the baseball and softball programs. Howell will continue to assist with the softball program.
In order to achieve the goal of the Leopards having the mentality of playing past the high school stage, Goodwin said that the practices are going to be structured just like those at the collegiate level.
Addressing the players he said, “There are no horror stories. We are going to get our work in, and you are going to do what you have to do to play at the next level. We will work hard. If you don’t want to be a part of something that is going to take work, then this is not the place for you.”
“I hope every single one of you want to do this and are excited,” Goodwin said. “I have no previous assumptions of you … but this is what I can promise you – my expectations of you are above anything you have ever imagined. I said here last year when I took over the softball program, and they laughed when I did, the only thing I expect is to win the last game and hold up the championship trophy. And that is my expectation. I have no other expectations other than winning a state championship.”
Goodwin laid out his plan for practices and told the players that he, coach Bowen and coach Howell know what it takes to play at the collegiate level.
“We will start practice, when we start during school, we will already be ready and stretched by 3:30 p.m. It’s not going up and kissing Sally Bloome bye and all that. We will practice at 3:30 p.m. If you are late there will be consequences and repercussions.”
While Goodwin told the team the facts about the upcoming season, he also provided the summer baseball schedule.
Banks County will practice the first eight weekdays of the summer – June 1-10. See below, for the rest of the June schedule.
“If you work hard, everything else will take care of itself,” Goodwin said. “We will do things to make you better. That is the only purpose we have.”
Leopards Summer Baseball
June 1-4 Practice 1-3:30 p.m.
June 7-10 Practice 3-5:30 p.m.
June 14 Practice 3-5:30 p.m.
June 15 @ Commerce (DH) 5:30 p.m.
June 16 @ Franklin (9 in) 7 p.m.
June 17 Practice 3-5:30 p.m.
June 21 vs Franklin (9 in) 7 p.m.
June 22 Practice 3-5:30 p.m.
June 23 Practice 3-5:30 p.m.
June 24-26 Jackson Tourney @ Home TBA
June 28 vs Elbert (9in) 5:30 p.m.
June 29 vs Morgan (DH) 5 p.m.
Lady Leopards Summer Softball
July 12-14 Practice 9-11 a.m.
July 15 vs Walhala 5 p.m. vs Jackson 8 p.m.
July 19-21 Practice 9-11 a.m.
July 22 vs West Hall 5 p.m. vs East Hall 8 p.m.
July 26 Practice 9-11 a.m.
July 27 vs East Jackson 5 p.m. vs Habersham 8 p.m.
July 28 Practice 9-11 a.m.
July 29 @ Franklin City vs Stephens 7 p.m. vs Franklin 8:30 p.m.