Suwannee Democrat

Sports

January 28, 2013

Suwannee softball: Confident coach ready to play

Live Oak — Suwannee High School softball coach Tommy Chambers is looking forward to this season. He’s been the SHS softball coach off and on for eight years. This will be his fourth consecutive year. He had tryouts recently and his rosters’ numbers are 14 for varsity and a little short on JV with nine.

“We just have nine on the JVs, but we could have one or two of those go down (to play JV) if we need them to,” said Chambers. “You know we haven’t had a JV program here in the last two years. We were pleased with the numbers that came out.”

Chambers attributes the lower number in tryouts because some of the girls’ interests change once they graduate from middle school to high school. Several of this season’s players are already familiar with Chambers and are returning from last season.

“We returned six starters off of the team that made it to the playoffs,” said Chambers. “Out of those six starters naturally is our leader and hard working player and shortstop, Jessie TenBroeck.”

TenBroeck recently signed to play softball for Stetson University.

Another player that has caught the attention of Chambers for being a ballplayer with great potential is ninth grader Jordan Roberts.

“She’s a catcher and an infielder,” said Chambers. “She just qualified for the state weight lifting meet.”

Chambers describes her as a big strong girl with a good work ethic.

“Her name is going to be noticed here before she graduates,” said Chambers.

The pre-season classic kicks off Feb. 2 in Lafayette County. The Lady ‘Dogs play the Hornets at 10 a.m. and Columbia High at noon. The following Thursday, Feb. 7, begins their regular season when they play PK Yonge in Gainesville.

For the pre-season classic, the Bulldog season begins with playing some very formidable opponents.

“Lafayette County is the reigning state champions,” said Chambers. “Columbia made at least the second round of the playoffs. We don’t shy away from anyone. We have a lot of playoff teams on our schedule this year. It’s going to make us have to be ready to play every game.”

Chambers said that his teams will be averaging two games a week, some weeks three. The week of the tournament, they’ll play four games in two days.

Chambers believes his number one pitcher will be Haejin Choe, a sophomore. She also made the regional weightlifting meet.

“She’s going to be able to handle the job on the mound,” said Chambers.‚Ä®Chambers said that he and his assistant coach were excited about the hitters for the first couple of weeks of the season. He said that his number one hitter would be a returning hitter from last year, Timberly Steichen, a sophomore who also plays third base.

“We’re excited and we’re ready to play someone else besides practicing,” said Chambers.

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