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Valencia Named NFCA High School National Coaching Staff of Year

Valencia High School (Calif.) head coach Donna Lee, along with assistant coach Carrie Mitchell, have been named the 2007 NFCA High School Coaching Staff of the Year. 

Lee and Mitchell will be honored during the 2007 NFCA National Convention that will be held Nov. 28-Dec. 1 in Las Vegas. 

Lee and Mitchell guided Valencia to the Division I CIF Southern Championship with a final 32-1 record. Valencia capped the year with the No. 1 ranking in the final USA Today/NFCA High School Top 25 Softball Poll, making it the first team in the poll’s history to run through the entire season in the top spot. 

Under the duo’s leadership, Valencia also clinched titles at the Bullhead City Tournament of Champions, Michelle Carew tournament and the Best of the West. 

In addition to the national honor, the Valencia staff also garnered West region staff of the year accolades. Other regional winners included: 

East Region — Toms River East High School (New Jersey) 

Head Coach: Debbie Schwartz 
Assistant Coaches: Dawn Dziedzic and Michelle Neveling 

Toms River East completed the season under consideration by the USA Today/NFCA High School Poll committee with a record of 31-3. Schwartz led the team to the Ocean County Tournament and South Jersey Group 1V State Championships while earning Ocean County Coach of the Year for the third consecutive year. 


North Region — Greenville High School (Ohio) 

Head Coach: Jerrod Newland 
Assistant Coaches: Beth Arnold, Carol Paul and John Davis 

Newland led his squad to a 31-4 record and the AA State Championship. Greenville, winners of only 25 games in five years prior to his arrival, has posted 127 wins in the past five years. 


South Region — Baker High School (Alabama) 

Head Coach: Tony Scarbrough 
Assistant Coaches: Henry Snow, Ricky Wharton and Jerry Rodden 

Scarbrough led his team to its third 6A state championship in five years. Baker finished the season 79-7, and Scarbrough also earned the NHSCA 2007 National Softball Coach of the Year award. 


South Region — Trinity Prep School (Florida) 

Head Coach: Kathy Finnucan 
Assistant Coaches: Kevin Griffin, Scott Burmeister and Dee Starling 

Finnucan led her squad to a 29-3 record this season that included the class 3A district, region and state championships. Trinity Prep did not allow a run in 42 innings of playoff action. 


South Central Region — Garland High School (Texas) 

Head Coach: Cindy Mosteller 
Assistant Coach: Jennifer Robertson 

Mosteller guided her team to a 38-9-2 finish and the 5A state championship. Garland was ranked as high as eighth in this year’s USA Today/NFCA High School Top 25 Poll, and it became the first Texas 5A softball team to win back-to-back state titles.