LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Head coach Jeff Lemons and assistant coaches Tricia Hackfeld, Sharla Andrews and Ashley Hill of Aledo High School (Texas) have been selected as the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s National High School Coaching Staff of the Year the Association announced on Tuesday.
The Ladycats captured their second consecutive Texas Class 5A state championship and finished ranked in the top six of several national polls, including No. 6 in the USA Today Sports/NFCA High School Super 25. The wire-to-wire No. 1 ranked team in Texas finished 2015 at 23-1 and has won 46 of their last 47 contests with 20 of those victories coming in the Texas State playoffs. Guided by Lemons, the Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 5A/6A and two-time Texas Sportswriters Association 5A Coach of the Year, the Ladycats completed their third straight undefeated district schedule courtesy of an high powered offense that hit .423 and outscored opponents, 163-16.
For their work this season, Lemons, Hackfeld, Andrews and Hill also garnered the program’s second consecutive NFCA South Central Region High School Coaching Staff of the Year accolade.
2015 NFCA Regional Coaching Staff of the Year winners for this season were:
EAST REGION – Immaculate Heart Academy (N.J.)
Head Coach: Anthony LaRezza | Assistant Coaches: Diana Fasano and Ali Bryan
A young Immaculate Heart program (no seniors) posted a 31-3 overall record on its way to a Non-Public A state championship. Courtesy of a walk-off RBI single by Ally Dudek and a four-hit shutout by Olivia Sprofera, the Blue Eagles defeated Notre Dame 1-0 in the state finals for the program’s 10th state title. IHA finished 2015 ranked 15th in the USA Today Sports/NFCA High School Super 25.
NORTH REGION – St. Mary Catholic Central (Mich.)
Head Coach: John Morningstar | Assistant Coaches: Don Barron and Howard Michael
SMCC captured the Michigan Division 3 state championship and ended the season, 37-5. The Kestrals set a school record for victories surpassing the previous mark of 29. In addition, SMCC hit a program-best 22 home runs and scored 306 runs (7.4 per game), while getting a Michigan Gatorade Player of the Year performance in the circle from Meaghan Beaubien (33-3, 0.32 ERA).
SOUTH REGION – North Davidson High School (N.C.)
Head Coach: Mike Lambros | Assistant Coaches: Billy Gerald, Thomas Vick, Keith Stanek, Briana Shurleff, Charlie Nicholson
Despite losing six seniors and having a pitcher coming off off-season surgery, North Davidson overcame a third-place conference showing to finish as the NCHSAA Class 4-A state runner up. During its run to the finals, the Black Knights snapped Alexander Central’s 95-game winning streak in the state semifinals.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – Aledo High School (Texas)
Head Coach: Jeff Lemons | Assistant Coaches: Tricia Hackfeld, Sharla Andrews and Ashley Hill – for full write-up, please see main body of release.
WEST REGION – Amador Valley (Calif.)
Head Coach: Teresa Borchard | Assistant Coach: Jenny Williams
Amador Valley overcame the loss of six senior starters to claim its second straight North Coast Section DI championship with a 5-1 victory over Logan. Finishing 2015 on a 14-game winning streak, the Lady Dons’ young squad posted a 24-3 record and ranked 14th in the final USA Today Sports/NFCA High School Super 25.