TIGERS

Cherokee County Herald - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

“I’ve heard a lot of good things about Coach Nel­son, about his play­ing time here, the type of char­ac­ter he has and his de­sire to want to come back to his home school,” Cedar Bluff prin­ci­pal Rusty Thrasher said. “Coach Kin­ney left our pro­gram in a re­ally good spot, and we feel for­tu­nate to get Coach Nel­son to come back to his home school and lead our base­ball pro­gram and con­tinue to push us to greater heights.”

Nel­son said he wouldn’t have left his po­si­tion at Fort Payne for just any po­si­tion. He hopes he’s able to main­tain the ex­cel­lence his pre­de­ces­sors have es­tab­lished at Cedar Bluff.

“Coach ( Tay­lor) Tal­bot built this into one of the top 1A base­ball pro­grams in the state, and after he left, Coach Kin­ney took over and kind of kept them where they were at. They re­mained one of the top pro­grams in the state,” Nel­son said. “I was in a po­si­tion at Fort Payne where I was re­ally happy to be where I was, and I didn’t want to leave for just any­thing. This was an op­por­tu­nity that came open and I feel like this is one of the places to be in base­ball, es­pe­cially 1A base­ball.”

Nel­son said so far the kids seem to be on same page as him. He said he’s not too con­cerned with coach­ing them up so much this sum­mer as he is to find out “what our iden­tity is as a team.”

“The group of kids we have out is a great group of

Dei­dra Davis is named the soft­ball coach at Cedar Bluff.

kids,” he said. “The kids here at Cedar Bluff and in this county as a whole are some of the best kids you can find any­where. I feel like so far they’ve been real re­cep­tive to ev­ery­thing.

“I feel like I’ve got the op­por­tu­nity now to come back and help th­ese kids do things now that I’ve been through it and know how it works and what hap­pens. My goal is to help them to cre­ate some­thing where they have no re­grets, to know they got ev­ery­thing out of base­ball or foot­ball that they could have. For base­ball, I want them to look back on it, have a fa­vor­able mem­ory and say ‘We did ev­ery­thing we could do.’“

In other Cedar Bluff coach­ing news, Thrasher said sec­ond-year coach Dei­dra Davis is now the head coach of the Lady Tiger var­sity soft­ball team. She re­places Mandy Walker, who guided Cedar Bluff to an 18-24 record last sea­son and their third con­sec­u­tive berth in the North Re­gional Tour­na­ment in Huntsville.

“Coach Walker wants to watch her child ( Jor­dyn) play, but she knows it’s in good hands,” Thrasher

said. “She wouldn’t have stepped away un­less she knew the pro­gram was in good hands. That was some­thing we talked about for the last few months.

“Coach Davis did a fan­tas­tic job with vol­ley­ball last year, and soft­ball al­most comes sec­ond na­ture to her. She has got­ten to know our girls, our pro­gram, our school and our com­mu­nity. She loves it here, and I think she’ll be able to con­tinue car­ry­ing our girls to greater heights. We’ve got a great core of girls who are com­ing through right now. She works them hard dur­ing ath­let­ics and she works them hard at prac­tice. She took a large role in the coach­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties this year in soft­ball, even be­ing a firstyear coach. It was an easy tran­si­tion to have Coach Davis move up. We’re very for­tu­nate to have her.”

Shan­non Fagan /

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