The status of high school softball in the fall is still unknown amid concerns over the new coronavirus (COVID-19), but Murray County High School will have a new leader of its softball program.
Alannah Long, who spent the 2019 season as the high school's pitching coach, has been named the program's head coach, according to Indians athletics director Greg Linder.
"Obviously, being a first-year head coach is nerve-racking itself, but then you throw in all these other unknowns," Long said of COVID-19. "The way I'm handling it is I'm staying calm about it, because I know if I'm frustrated, it will carry over to the team. We'll control what we can control and prepare like it's going to be a normal season."
Long takes over for Eric Weaver, who stepped down to spend more time with family, according to Linder. The Indians finished the 2019 season 5-15 with an 0-7 record in Region 6-3A.
"I'm so thankful to have had a year under him," Long said of Weaver. "He was great with the girls, and I learned a lot under him. I'm big on relationships in general, and I'm glad to already have that relationship with a lot of the girls."
Those relationships and Long's experience as a player make her a good fit for the position, according to Linder.
“Alannah is a young, energetic coach who has a tremendous amount of passion for the game of softball,” Linder wrote in a text message. “Alannah has the ability to relate with our softball players by being a former softball player herself. I have no doubt that she will do great things for our softball program.”
Long, a native of Wrens, starred at Jefferson County High School, from which she graduated in 2014. She played at Emanuel College in Franklin Springs before coming to Murray County as an assistant coach and special education teacher.
"I'm not so far out from the game, so I remember what it's like to be a player," Long said. "I remember that when I'm coaching, knowing what my coaches did and what worked and what didn't."