By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
The Williamsburg Lady Yellow Jackets' season came to an end following Monday's 10-0 loss to South Laurel in the 50th District Tournament, giving the team a 7-20 record on the year.
None of the team's seven wins were against teams with a winning record and five of them were against 13th Region foes (Barbourville, Lynn Camp, Pineville and Jackson County) with a combined record of 22-56.
The Lady Jackets managed to win consecutive games just once this season, both of which came against Monticello in a double header. That same Monticello team that finished the season 1-21 (only win against Lynn Camp).
Williamsburg head coach Maggie Jackson admitted that to say her patience was tested this season would be an understatement and even after doubting herself at times, she said she feels like she's the right person for the job of turning the program around.
“It's been a tough year for us, but my girls never quit on me,” Jackson said. “Patience has been something we've really had to work on this season and there have been times when I wasn't sure what to do.
“There have been many nights that I went home and wondered if I'm doing the right things or if I should even be here,” she added. “But I know coach (Gary) Peters and Mr. (Denny) Byrd have faith in me to be here and that's why they gave me the job. I'm gonna do the best I can of trying to turn this thing around while I'm here, but having patience is huge in the coaching business, especially with girls.”
Looking at Williamsburg's roster, losing six seniors is usually something to fret over, but Jackson is confident in the young talent she has at her disposal. She said given the way the entire team stuck the season out gives her reason to believe that the struggles of this past season will go a long way toward building for the future.
“These younger girls made a lot of progress this season and I'm looking forward to next season already,” Jackson said. “We're going to lose quite a bit of experience, but I feel like we have a lot of talent coming back.
“We've got a seventh grader that we plan on pulling up to pitch, so hopefully that can make a difference next year and years to come,” she added. “Any time you have a pitcher out there that can at least manage the game, it really gives the rest of the team confidence when you talk about being in the game.”
Even though she feels good about the level of returning talent, Jackson said she expects her patience to be tested next year, just as it was this season. The most important aspect as far as she's concerned though is the fact her team seems to have fun while it’s on the field. As long as they're having fun, she said there's always hope that they can get better.
“What's most important is the kids are excited about playing and they have fun,” Jackson said. “When they have fun, they seem to try harder, which makes them better.
“Hopefully we can continue to move in the right direction and see what happens,” she added.