Polk County softball coach Jeff Wilson gets win No. 300

Published 7:20 pm Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fast-pitch softball and coach Jeff Wilson both took off at Polk County High School in 1996, and both are still soaring. Last Thursday, Wilson earned his 300th win as head coach of the Wolverines’ varsity team.

From his 1996 start as head coach, Wilson has garnered more career wins in that sport than any other coach in Western North Carolina, along with the most wins by any active coach.

Wilson’s 300th, a 17-1 romp over East Henderson, lifted the Wolverines to 7-2 on the season.

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Last year, Wilson’s young women were 21-4, and captured the Western Highland Conference championship.

Overall, Wilson’s teams have averaged 17 wins per season, for a resounding 71 percent winning percentage.

Like successful coaches elsewhere, Wilson has both the personnel, and a talent for guiding them to the top.

“I’ve been blessed to have a lot of great players,” Wilson said.

Among those is senior Katie Ruff, who raised her 2013 record to 6-1 in that win.

“She’s doing a great job,” Wilson said of Ruff. The Wolverines have several good pitchers on the way up as well.

Wilson’s balanced squad includes seniors Ruff, centerfielder Shalyn Brown, left fielder Amber Lynch and first basewoman Cassie Couch. Ruff plays outfield when not on the mound.

Other pitchers include sophomores Kassidy Reynolds, Carolyn Couch, Brandi Cordell and Leann Wallace. Freshman Lily Owens also pitches.

Wilson relishes his coaching experience.

For him, “It’s been a thrill.”