Cougars preparing for senior season, defense of state title

Published 1:55 pm Friday, July 8, 2022

BROOKHAVEN — Softballs dinged off of bats as Brookhaven Academy got its practice underway with infield and outfield work Thursday morning. They have begun preparation for the start of the season on July 29 and the defense of their 5A State Title from last season. 

There is a new face at the Cougar’s helm. Lisa Covington will be the head coach this season replacing Becky Flowers and her right hand players are seniors Reagan Newman and Sasha King. 

With about four weeks before the start of their senior season, Newman said it is hard to believe her time with BA is coming to an end. This will be her sixth season with the program and King’s second. 

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“It is hard to believe and it is sad to see this chapter of my life start to come to an end,” Newman said. “My first year they welcomed me in. I’ve played softball my whole life. I was listening to the intercom one day when they asked anyone who is interested in playing softball to come out. Coach Becky Flowers welcomed me with open arms. We became a family and we have moved on from there.” 

King started her schooling at BA in the first grade but moved away for several years to Texas and Louisiana. BA’s atmosphere was a good fit so she was happy when she came back. 

She returned to the Cougars softball squad last season but had back surgery on July 7, 2021 and missed the entirety of their championship run. This season would be her first year playing at BA if she can stay healthy. 

“I had surgery and I was paralyed for eight days and I had to re-learn how to do everything. I am back in time for softball. It was all in God’s timing and his timing is perfect timing,” King said. 

Brookhaven Academy’s state championship defense is on the forefront of the senior’s minds. Their goal is to advance all the way to the state tournament and win it a second time. It all starts with practices in the sweltering July heat. 

BA worked on throwing, fielding and hitting Thursday. King said she believes they can win a state title again because their coaches are pushing them to their maximum potential. 

Newman said the team has progressed a lot in the last six years. She was one of three girls who started for Junior Varsity and Varsity in sixth grade. 

Now the program is about 30 girls strong. The girls can win a state title but it will take teamwork, King said. 

“We will have to play together and stay together,” King said. “We have to be a team who backs you up and stays together.” 

Once the infield dust settles, and the seniors walk across the graduation stage this May, they will have a new journey to look forward to. Newman said as of right now she is not sure what she is going to do once she graduates. King said she hopes to study sports medicine and potentially play sports in college. 

Before they leave Brookhaven Academy, King and Newman will get to see some upgrades come to the facilities. Covington said Melanie Daigle, Toni Legget, Lauren Langham and Laney Wallace put in a lot of sweat and hard work this summer to renovate the locker rooms. 

It started after they got out of school and the parents sanded wood, painted walls and lockers, ordered signs and made everything look nice. 

“It is exciting. When I first walked in there I was surprised. It had been the same for six years,” Newman said. “It is crazy to see how it has evolved and grown.”