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Female coach adds shine to all-stars

Volunteers are a valuable asset in anyvenue.

    In Sarah Taylor’s case, her volunteer efforts as an assistant coachin the Lincoln County Dixie Boys Baseball League have rewarded herwith an all-star assignment. She is helping the team prepare fornext weekend’s state tournament, working as an all-star assistantcoach.

     Taylor, 34, a singlemother; has three sons who play baseball. Jake, 14, started playingball when he was four years old and is a member of the Dixie Boysall-star quad. Aaron, 13; and Garrett 8, also play baseball. Aaronis a special needs child who has played on the BrookhavenRecreation Department’s special needs team.

     During her high schoolyears, Taylor attended McComb, West Lincoln and graduated fromTylertown.

    She said she didn’t play high school softball but,”I grew up aroundbaseball. My dad played for a softball league and then he coachedLittle League in Toledo, Ohio.”

     She served as an assistantcoach with Dixie Boys League member New York Life this season.

     “One of our coaches neededhelp and he was asking the parents to help,” Taylor recalled. “Ivolunteered. I enjoy it.”

    She moved to Brookhaven in 1994.

    Being in the dugout with the players and coaches gave her a newperspective on the diamond sport. During games, zealous parentsoften loudly coach the team and their children vocally from thebleachers.

    “I always did it from the sidelines in the bleachers,” said Taylor.”We didn’t have the best team in the league.”

    She recalled a special moment during the league tournament twoweeks ago. “Our very last game, we only had seven players. They hadme coaching first base. I told the kids, ‘I’ll see you at firstbase.’ They all got a hit and made it to first.”

    She discussed her responsibilities. “As an all-star coach, I’mhandling the money, getting the birth certificates straight and theuniform sizes.”

    Taylor praised the efforts of the league’s all-star coaches;Christian Johnston and Cody Smith. “The boys have two awesomecoaches. They both played at Co-Lin. They run the kids through thedrills at practice. I’m not familiar with all those drills.”

    Taylor makes sure all the T’s are crossed and the I’s are dottedduring games.

    “Christian told me I was the control coach. I keep the boys undercontrol in the dugout. Whatever they need me to do, I will do.”

    She works for Cracker Barrel Family Restaurant as a waitress. Shealso attends Copiah-Lincoln Community College. “I want to teachhigh school English.”

    Asked about her favorite Major League Baseball team, Taylor saidshe enjoyed watching all of them. “I watch baseball on TV a lot. Itdoesn’t matter who’s playing. My boys keep me informed about theYankees. You never know what your are going to see.”

    Her father’s love for Little League baseball was passed to herdaughter. She admitted, “I’m a big sucker for watching the LittleLeague World Series games. It’s amazing what those kids cando.”

 

    What does she think about Lincoln County’s chances in the statetournament?

    “I think we have an awesome all-star team,” answered Taylor. “Thisis an honor to represent our community in the state tournament.

    “From watching them practice, we have a good chance at state. Theyare really shaping up. Some of them haven’t played together beforethe all-stars. We are forming a team.”

    All-Star team members are John Coleman, Zach Dickerson, BryceWhite, Benard Selman, Connor Quin, David Leyendecker, Daniel Lyle,Peyton Flowers, Noah Rogers, Jake Taylor, Stone Case, Connor Smithand Jordan Nations.

    Johnston said he appreciates Taylor’s secretary skills and herpositive attitude.

    “She’s done all the paperwork and takes care of the money,” saidJohnston. “She’s experienced with that and it helps a lot.”

    In the dugout, Johnston said, “She’s in control. She tells themwhen to bat and when to do this and that.”

    Johnston has baseball roots. He graduated in 2009 from FranklinCounty High School and starred for the Bulldogs. Johnston isenrolled in the athletic trainer program at Delta State.

    Cody Smith, a Loyd Star product, will be a sophomore member of theCo-Lin baseball team in 2012. Smith worked mainly as a leagueumpire this summer.

    Terry Britt, longtime league coach and current league president,said Taylor is the first local female to coach an all-star baseballsquad.

    “I don’t think we’ve ever had a female coach,” said Britt. “She’salways been a team mom type of thing.”

    Taylor isn’t the only female coaching in the league this season.Marla Nottingham assisted her husband, Riley Nottingham, with theR.B. Wall Oil Co. squad that finished runner-up in the leaguetournament.

 

    Contact sports editor Tom Goetz by Email:tgoetz@dailyleader.com