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Redd builds steady winner at W. Lincoln

Andrew Redd has forged a winning softball tradition at WestLincoln. His Lady Bears are annual contenders for division honorsand a force in the state playoffs.

Redd’s latest slowpitch softball squad finished runners-up toSmithville in the state playoffs. For his team’s accomplishments hehas been recognized as The DAILY LEADER’s Co-Softball Coach of theYear on the 2008 All-Area Slowpitch Team.

Redd, 40, has been coaching softball for 16 years, all at WestLincoln. A 1986 WLHS grad, he attended Copiah-Lincoln CommunityCollege two years before transferring to Mississippi StateUniversity where he obtained a degree in mathematics. He laterobtained a Master’s degree in administration from MississippiCollege.

Redd teaches upper level math and physics at West Lincoln, alsoserving as the Class 1A school’s athletic director. He is marriedto the former Camille Spencer of Itawamba and they have threedaughters: Micah, age 12; Makennah, 9; and Maddox, 7.

His latest West Lincoln team finished 26-10, losing a closebest-of-three series to Smithville in championship finals. He losesthree senior starters to graduation in right-centerfielder JulieCase, third baseman Shelby Lofton and right-fielder LainaLaird.

It was West Lincoln’s first appearance in the state finals in 20years. The Lady Bears won the highly-competitive Region 7-1A title,beating out defending state champion Bogue Chitto for the top rung.They eliminated Stringer in the third game of a best-of-threeseries for the South State championship.

“We didn’t have any superstars on our team like we have had in thepast,” Redd pointed out. “What we did have were a bunch of girlswho worked and played hard together every game. It was one of thebest team effort I’ve seen in a lot of years.”

Redd will have a solid nucleus returning. Shortstop Alexis Cook,second baseman Hannah Knouse, first baseman, Stephanie Smith,catcher Haley Ainsworth, pitcher Jessica Franklin,left-centerfielder Ashley McCaffery and leftfielder Keri Easleywill be one year wiser and stronger when next season arrives.

His assistant coach is Lane Young who also directs the varsitybasketball program.

“We’ll have a real good group coming back,” said Redd. “Several JV(junior varsity) girls will step up.”

Obviously, there is no shortage of community or administrativesupport for West Lincoln athletics. Rain or shine, the Lady Bearsdraw a large crowd of supporters.

“We have always been supported well in all of our sports,” saidRedd. “Our goal every year is to make the state playoffs.”

Redd just completed a fastpitch peewee softball league season atWest Lincoln. “We have some good kids coming up.”

Varsity fastpitch softball begins in late February and Redd islooking forward to it. His team could make another run in theplayoffs.