June 11, 2014 — While California Chrome did not win horse racing’s Triple Crown this past weekend, Derek Calhoun wrapped up the Kentucky High School softball coaching awards trifecta.
The East Carter coach won the all-area coach of the year award, the Umpire’s association 16th Region Coach of the Year and Coaches Association 16th Region Coach of the Year.
“It means a lot,” Calhoun said. “I appreciate all the votes but all of this goes to my girls and my coaching staff. They come in and work hard every single day and it’s a credit to them wanting to get better and make this program better.”
The Lady Raiders had an outstanding 2014 season, earning a school record in wins at 28, won their second straight 62nd District Championship and finished with a top 20 ranking in the state.
“We’re all pleased with how this program has turned around,” Calhoun said. “We’ve not stopped and it seems like every year we get better and better.”
“Hopefully it continues.”
Over the past three seasons, East Carter is 77-26 with two District Championships. To put that in perspective, the Lady Raiders compiled 72 wins from 2006-2011.
“The other teams that have been successful have been looked at as the ‘team to beat’,” Calhoun said. “We haven’t had that. In the past, people saw East Carter on the schedule and some chalked it up as a win before the game even starts.”
“It’s not like that anymore. If teams don’t come in and play well against us, we’re going to beat them.”
The Lady Raiders only lose two seniors from last year’s squad and will have one of the most veteran teams in the 16th Region next season. With a senior group that has several years of experience including two dominant pitchers in Montana Fouts and Morgan Jacobs, naturally, the expectations will be much higher next year.
“There’s a lot of talk going around and I told those girls after our season ended that we have to come out and work even harder next year,” Calhoun said. “We’re going to have a target on our back being one of the top two or three teams in this region next year.”
MacKenzie Bates can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.