Head Coach Jeff Griffith, along with assistant coaches Pete Lara and Lori Helmer, have been tabbed the Speedline/NFCA High School National Coaching Staff of the Year after leading Cactus High School (Ariz.) to a No. 1 ranking in the final USA Today/NFCA High School Top 25 Poll.
The Lady Cobras won the Arizona 4A Division I championship and finished the 2006 season with a 32-3 record.
The Cactus staff was also honored as the Speedline/NFCA West regional staff of the year. Other top Speedline regional staffs are:
East Region - Susquehanna Valley High School - New York
Head Coach: Dale Cook
Assistant Coaches: Bernie Mott, Melissa LaBarre
Susquehanna Valley finished 2006 with a 28-2 record, with their two losses coming from the Class AA and Class A state champions. The Sabers have won five state championships in the past 10 years, including the last two. Cook has an overall record of 301-55.
North Region - Keystone High School - Ohio
Head Coach: Jim Piazza
Assistant Coaches: Larry Shaw, Marlon Ford, Ann Green, Gina Serrani and Gary Saunders
Keystone finished the 2006 season with a 32-2 record and made its fourth consecutive state tournament appearance and 11th in the last 14 years. With a total of 629 wins, Keystone is Ohio's winningest softball program in history.
South Region - St. Amant High School – Louisiana
Head Coach: Scott Nielson
Assistant Coaches: Jay Brignac, Ashley Landry and Micah Vicknair
Nielson led his squad to a 33-4-1 ranking this season and their fifth consecutive Louisiana 5A state championship. St. Amant’s 59 homeruns this season set the National Federation of High Schools’ single season home run record.
South Central - Keller High School - Texas
Head Coach: Moe Fritz
Assistant Coaches: Leslie Weaver, Kim Reed, Heather Campbell and David Phillips
The Indians claimed championships in the TOC (AZ), Duncanville (TX) and Ennis (TX) tournaments in 2006 en route to finishing second in the Texas 5A state tournament. Keller finished the championship game in 13 innings, falling just short of its third title in four years.