Nathan Handy new JV softball coach

Published 5:17 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2022

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

A lack of interest kept Davie from having a JV softball team last year, but the numbers are there to field a team in 2022. New coach Nathan Handy has 11 players (one sophomore, 10 freshmen) putting in work in preparation for a nine-game season.

“We have an opportunity to get better,” Handy, 32, said. “It’s going to come down to hitting. Defensively, I think we’ll do our job. It’s going to come down to how many runs can we put on the board?”

The lone sophomore is Gracie Garwood. The freshmen are Raelyn Lankford, Brayden Brooks, Carleigh Croom, Cora Nicholson, Ashley Smith, Delaney Parsons, Kayden Cornatzer, Hanna Steinour, Tytiana Norris and Callie Wisecarver.

The most talented players appear to be Lankford, Croom, Steinour and Parsons, all of whom are listed on the JV/varsity rosters.

“Before the end of the season, I may lose a few of them (to varsity),” Handy said.

Parsons will handle the pitching duties, with catcher Steinour as her batterymate. A strong-looking infield could line up like this: Croom at first, Ashley Smith at second, Lankford at shortstop and Cora Nicholson at third.

“I think we have a real solid infield,” he said.

Offensively, Handy is counting on big things from Lankford and Croom.

“They are really solid,” he said. “Those two definitely are standing out right now.”

Handy is in his first year as a PE teacher at Davie. He grew up in nearby Boonville and graduated in 2007 from Starmount High, where he played soccer, ran track and competed on the hunter safety team.

He landed his first teaching/coach job at Forbush Middle in 2013. He spent eight years there, coaching girls and boys soccer, girls and boys basketball and softball. He and his wife Tiffany live in Boonville. They have a 5-year-old son.

“Davie County has always been on my radar,” he said. “I just felt like it would be a good fit for me. I knew they were hurting in some areas coaching-wise that I could help them with.”

Notes: Davie’s last JV softball team was coached by Chad Hall during the coronavirus-shortened 2020 season. Davie went 4-1-1 before the rest of the season was canceled. … Handy’s assistant coach is Sierra Ferguson, who is one of the greatest players in Davie history. She holds career records for RBIs (112 from 2015-18) and home runs (19).