Coach Wilson looking forward to softball season

Published 2:13 pm Monday, March 9, 2015

This spring’s Polk County High School softball team possesses the kind of talent that make 20-year coaching veteran Jeff Wilson proud and happy to be at the helm.

“When you’ve done it 20 years, you have an advantage,” Wilson noted. “We’re excited about the season.”

Wilson, who has posted more wins than any high school coach in Western North Carolina, notched another, last Wednesday, March 4 when the Wolverines, behind sophomore hurler Ashley Scruggs, downed visiting Avery, 6-3.

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Going into yesterday’s game Polk was 1-0; the game scheduled against Cherokee last week being rained out.

After Polk hosted Tuscola yesterday afternoon (results were not available at press time), the Wolverines are slated to host the Asheville Trailblazers on Wednesday and Madison on Friday.

Varsity games are scheduled for 4 p.m., with JV to follow at 5:30.

How good are the Wolverines?

The team with this year’s seniors posted records of 21-5 in 2012, 18-5 in 2013, and 20-5 last season.

This season’s seniors are catcher Ashley Kropp (returning two-time All-

State selection), infielder Maddy Foy (All Western Highlands Conference last year, and All-State in 2013), plus outfielders Alexis McCraw (All-State in 2014) and Cassidy Reynolds.

“These four seniors are really special,” Wilson noted with pride.

“I’m very proud of my senior class,” Wilson continued, “for how hard they work, how well they lead the team.”

In addition to Scruggs, who was 20-5 last year (a decision in every Polk varsity game), Wilson has two other excellent pitchers in freshman Haley Fowler (who also plays first base), and Caitlin Britton, a junior.

Wilson will get this and next season from his star shortstop Hayley Kropp, a returning two-time All-State honoree. Last season, Kropp ripped 44 hits in 25 games.

Other talented freshmen include Autumn Owen (third base and catcher), Maranda Gosnell (second base/shortstop).

More key players are junior right fielder Kinsley Jackson, who made numerous putouts last year; sophomores Ashley Ponder, Amber Miller and Katelyn Allison; and freshman Karli Wood.