For the fourth time in five years, the Warren County Middle School softball program will have a new head coach.
Joe Damon has been named the new leader of the Lady Pioneers, taking over the program after Marc Pyburn resigned following his second year with the program.
Damon, a longtime coach in local leagues and of travel teams, doesn't expect to reinvent the program. He doesn't feel it's necessary.
"I want to continue to build on a very strong and successful program and send players to the high school prepared to play at the next level," said Damon.
The WCMS program had plenty of success in recent memory, including winning the Central Tennessee Conference championship during the 2015-16 school year - Pyburn's first season. Pyburn took over for Rodney Whiles, who won a regular season title in his lone season as coach. Before Whiles, current WCHS softball coach Gooby Martin helmed the program for several years.
Damon, with a decade of coaching experience under his belt, will hopefully bring stability to the program.
His first decision was to set a try out date for players who may not already be on the team. That tryout is set for this Saturday at the WCHS indoor facility from 8-10:30 a.m.
"This tryout is to potentially add players to the roster which was selected last summer. It will not affect the current roster," said Damon.
The new coach will have plenty of help this season, including two familar faces to the progam - former coach Whiles and asssistant Monica Lane.
Whiles knows the program from his year headlining the team, while Lane, who played for WCHS from 2010-13, has been an assistant for the last two years.
Damon also expects William Forbes and Beau Lowe to assist this season.
As for his team, Damon hopes to see players eager to improve.
"We're looking for a strong work ethic and a constant drive to improve," said Damon. "We plan to take advantage of the skills the girls have learned through years of travel tournaments and build from there. We will be a team that will compete every time they take the field."