Carr ready to take over DHS softball
Ken Carr, the longtime math teacher, knows a thing or two about numbers.
And Ken Carr, the first-year varsity softball coach, doesn’t need a slide rule to figure the effects of losing two-thirds of last year’s starters to graduation.
“It’s really going to be a rebuilding year,” said Carr, who has coached the Douglas junior varsity softball team for the last two seasons and will take over the varsity squad this spring. “We’re going to be real young.
“The outfield was devastated (by graduation). The infield was devastated. The pitching was devastated. They lost a lot of good players.”
Michelle Roza started at third base last season as a junior. Kimmy Gitthens, also a junior last year, started in left field. And Hillary Moreira was the Tigers’ starting designated hitter as a sophomore. A few other players contributed in 1999, but the bulk of the playing experience was lost with the graduation of six seniors.
Carr started overseeing offseason workouts just after Christmas. As many as 20 girls participate in the twice-a-week, after-school sessions that include weight training and agility drills. The girls also can hit in the indoor batting cage in the DHS gym during their lunch break.
However, many of the prospective softball players currently are playing varsity and junior varsity basketball. They won’t start softball workouts until their respective seasons are finished.
“The basketball players are concentrating on basketball and that’s the way it should be,” Carr said. “We have a lot of the younger kids participating right now.”
Softball tryouts are scheduled for Feb. 28 and 29. The Tigers will play their first game nine days later.
Carr is in his third year as a math teacher at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School. He has spent the last 22 years teaching in the Douglas County School District, including long stays at Gardnerville and Scarselli elementary schools. He also serves at the public address announcer for Douglas home football and basketball games.
The new Tigers varsity coach said he’s already received lots of valuable advice during his first few weeks on the job.
“I’ve gotten a lot of help from past coaches,” Carr said. “Mike Rippee and Steve Wilcox have been a tremendous help. And Cliff Simpson, who coached the team in the early 1990s, called and offered his help.
“These gentlemen have put a lot of time and effort into building a strong softball tradition at Douglas High and I think they would like to see it continue. They’ve really helped pass on the knowledge to the new guy. They’ve been extremely helpful.”
Carr said he’ll stress fundamentals and the team concept this spring. Both of those aspects of the game can go a long way to making up for inexperience, he said.
“Basically, you just have to play good, sound softball,” Carr said. “The team that makes the fewest mistakes usually wins. With a young team, you have to make sure you don’t get rattled by a mistake. It has to be a total team effort with everyone pulling as one.
“I’m really looking forward to it. We have a nice group of girls who have supportive parents.”
Rick Smith, who has extensive ASA coaching experience, has been hired to coach the Douglas junior varsity.