LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Head coach Monte Sherrill and assistant coaches Darrell Adkins, Terry Waugh, Brittany Loudermilt, Megan Laxton, Randy Elder and Robby Wilkinson of Alexander Central High School (NC) have been selected as the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s National High School Coaching Staff of the Year the Association announced on Monday.
The Cougars rolled to the program’s first-ever perfect season at 35-0 overall, while winning their fourth North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Class 4A state title over the last six seasons. Led by Sherrill, the 2014 MaxPreps National High School Coach of the Year, and a trio of 2014 NFCA High School All-Americans in pitcher Kiana Millsaps, designated player Baily Rhoney and second baseman Vada Sherrill (the 2014 Gatorade North Carolina Player of the Year), Alexander Central set a state record for runs scored with 426, posted 24 double-digit victories and will now enter the 2015 campaign on a remarkable 67-game winning streak. The Cougars swept both games in their best-of-three state final series from Fayetteville Cape Fear with major contributions coming from state tournament Most Valuable Player Bailey Sherrill (4-for-6, four runs scored, three RBI combined over the two match-ups).
For their work this season, Sherrill, Adkins, Waugh, Loudermilt, Laxton, Elder and Wilkinson also garnered the program’s second consecutive NFCA South Region High School Coaching Staff of the Year accolade.
2014 NFCA Regional Coaching Staff of the Year winners for this season were:
EAST REGION – Kellenberg Memorial High School (NY)
Head Coach: Ken Conrade -- Assistant Coaches: Graziella Minnici & Pete Freaney
Picked up a third consecutive New York State Catholic High School crown after entering the year with just one returnee off those title squads and having to replace its starting pitcher for the third straight season…Finished third in the league at 10-4 before getting on a roll with a 6-1 playoff record to complete the season at 15-7 overall…Picked up a fourth-straight NSCHSAA title in their region by coming out of the loser’s bracket with a 9-4 triumph over top-seeded St. Anthony’s.
NORTH REGION - Lakeshore High School (MI)
Head Coach: Denny Dock – Assistant Coaches: John Paris, Yogi Mort, Rich Knapp & Skip Thibeault
Lakeshore posted a 36-9 overall record this season on the way to its third Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Division II state championship in the last five years…Rallied from an early 2-0 deficit in the title game to defeat Livonia Ladywood, 4-3…The triumph earned head coach Denny Dock his seventh state crown as a head coach (he is now 7-1 in eight trips to the championship game).
SOUTH REGION - Alexander Central High School (NC)
Head Coach: Monte Sherrill – Assistant Coaches: Darrell Adkins, Terry Waugh, Brittany Loudermilt, Randy Elder, Megan Laxton & Robby Wilkinson – for full write-up, please see main body of release.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION - Aledo High School (TX)
Head Coach: Jeff Lemons – Assistant Coaches: Kale Haschke, Sharla Andrews & Ashley Hill
Aledo registered a 33-4 overall record, winning its final 27 games in a row, and defeated Ennis H.S. in the title game to win the Texas Class 4A state championship while outscoring its foes this season by a remarkable 415-88…Finished the year ranked No. 22 in the USA Today/NFCA National High School poll and 25th in the MaxPreps National High School ratings…Set a school record with 39 HR’s in 2014 and were led in the circle by Lauren Craine (26-1), the Texas Sportswriters Class 4A Player of the Year…Head coach Jeff Lemons was tabbed as the Texas Sportswriters Class 4A Coach of the Year.
WEST REGION – Red Mountain High School (AZ)
Head Coach: Rich Hamilton – Assistant Head Coach: Matt Wiley – Assistant Coaches: Lacy Goodman & Elvis Richardson
Red Mountain fought its way out of the losers bracket to win its fifth straight Arizona Division I state title and sixth over the last eight seasons by posting a 32-6-1 overall record…The five straight softball championships had never previously been achieved by any team at any level in the state of Arizona…Leading the Mountain Lions from the circle was Gatorade Arizona Player of the Year Bre Macha…The 2014 NFCA High School All-American selection went 22-5 from the circle with a 1.02 ERA and 256 strikeouts over 186 innings while also emerging as the winning pitcher in her fourth-consecutive Arizona state title contest.