Dickson softball determined to soar to greater heights in 2021 despite low numbers
It’s no secret that the Dickson High School softball team found success a year ago, but the Lady Comets will need to adjust to a couple of changes in order to reach greater heights during the 2021 campaign.
The Lady Comets not only have a new head coach in Britt Jones, but they’ll also face tougher competition in a higher classification.
“We’re jumping up to 4A this year, so it’s going to be a big jump,” Jones said. “But I really think we can handle it with the pitching we have. I think we can get in there and compete with everybody in our district. Lone Grove has a really good team. Sulphur and Plainview are going to be pretty good. They’re all going to be pretty good. We have a pretty tough district, but we’re looking forward to it.”
District 4A-3 also features Madill, Pauls Valley and Marlow. Those seven squads will compete for a district title and the opportunity to host a regional. Lone Grove and Dickson both did so in 2020, but the Lady Comets aren't in 3A anymore and will have their work cut out for them against a team that advanced to the Class 4A State Championship.
That doesn’t worry Jones though.
He knows his predecessor played an important role in the program’s development and he plans to help the Lady Comets soar even higher.
“Coach (Kristin) Williams laid a pretty good foundation with these girls,” Jones said. “I’m looking to build on that and kind of take the next step. The girls hosted a regional last year, but didn’t win a game in that regional. That was kind of disappointing, but it good for these girls to kind of get that experience, play a big-time tournament at home and play some big-time games.”
A number of those athletes are back this season as Dickson has a strong junior class. However, numbers won’t be in the Lady Comets’ favor with only 12 on the roster. That group features three seniors, five juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen.
And each one of those athletes will contribute, highlighted by Dickson’s pitching duo.
“I think we have one of the best 1, 2 combos inside the circle in Shelby Beard and Riley Mays — both of them throw pretty hard and spin it well,” Jones said. “You can ask the coaches around here and a lot of them believe that, too. We have some work to do around that, but that’s a good problem to have because my job is to get the girls to play around the circle.”
That job will include helping develop a young catcher as freshman Cailey Fryar is taking that starting role. Jones has high expectations though, as he said Fryar has all the talent in the world.
Only time will tell how the Lady Comets fare in 2021, but they’ve already shown that the sky is the limit.
“We’re a small group, but these girls work hard,” Jones said. “They do anything you ask them, and they get after it.”