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Wards make the best of 2003 slowpitch campaign

MONTICELLO — Tarvey Ward’s coaching philosophy worked likemagic in 2003. His Lawrence County Lady Cougars posted a 31-6record, advancing to the championship finals of the Class 4Aslowpitch softball playoffs.

Ward’s accomplishments have earned him The DAILY LEADER’s Coachof the Year honors on the All-Area Slowpitch Softball Team. Hegraciously shares the award with his wife, Suzie.

“My first goal is for us to have fun and work hard,” said TarveyWard. His philosophy includes discipline, conditioning,organization and motivation.

“This was our year,” said Ward. “We had a good group of eightseniors, six of whom started.

“You won’t have much jealousy on a successful team,” Wardpointed out. “You must have a lot of trust. You must encourage andsupport each other.”

Ward receives plenty of support from his wife. Together theyhave compiled a record of 45-16 in two years. Three of their lossesthis season were to New Hope, twice in the championship finals.

“Suzie and I work well together,” said Tarvey. “She makes thelineup, keeps up with the paper work and statistics.”

Mrs. Ward agreed. “We work pretty good together on the softballfield. We discuss everything before we make any majordecisions.”

She played high school baseball as Suzie Arnau in 1975 atMonticello High School. Girls softball wasn’t available back then.She has been an assistant coach for 7 years at LCHS.

Ward, 52, was a standout high school athlete at Monticello andsigned a football scholarship with Copiah-Lincoln CommunityCollege. He also excelled in baseball and softball.

Ward said he was fortunate to have former LCHS, Co-Lin andBelhaven pitcher Kevin Garrett serving as team statistician. “Hekeeps it like a baseball scorebook. He doesn’t give any cheap hitslike some scorekeepers.”

Fourteen of the teams LCHS played this season advanced to thestate playoffs. The Lady Cougars had a team batting average of .467and posted 9 shutouts.

Offensively, LCHS averaged 13.2 runs per game compared to 4.9for opponents.

“Some players you have to whisper at,” answered Ward, when askedabout motivation. “Others you have to holler at and encourage.

“Several of my players have a great attitude,” Ward pointed out.”You can’t say enough about them. You can’t coach hustle andattitude.”

Looking to the future, Ward said, “We will have just threeseniors next year but we will be competitive. We will have thegirls lifting weights in the offseason. We’ll have a summer leagueteam, too.”

The Wards have two children, Clint, a 22-year-old senior atBelhaven where he plays baseball and is majoring in sportsadministration; and a daughter, Casey, who is a junior at Belhaven,playing soccer and fastpitch softball. Like her parents, Caseywants to coach softball.

A native of Lawrence County, Ward and his family live onproperty east of Monticello, known as Ward Valley, once purchasedby his great grandfather. He has been raising Belgian horses for 12years. He also raises draft horses and registered half-lingers,also known as miniature Belgians.