Home Sports Local Sports Shanor selected as Goddard softball coach

Shanor selected as Goddard softball coach

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Former Goddard softball player Katie Shanor was announced as the head softball coach on Wednesday. Here is a file photo she gets a hit in a game. (Submitted Photo)

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Former fans and teammates of Goddard’s Katie Shanor might think they’re in a time warp, but they’re not. Many fans can remember Shanor starting a 2-6-4 double play to get the Lady Rockets out of a bases-loaded jam. Yes, time does fly; it’s been four short year’s since the former Goddard softball second baseman Katie Shanor graduated with a degree in biology from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio.

On Wednesday, Goddard athletics announced former Rocket softball player Katie Shanor is the new head coach. (J.T. Keith Photo)

In her first year of teaching at Goddard, the administration reached back and named her their next coach to restore Goddard’s softball tradition. Shanor and her teammates made it to the first round of the state playoffs in 2013 before losing to Gallup, 6-0. In that game, Shanor broke her finger and continued to play.

“This is my first really big job and coaching experience,” Shanor said. “I played for four years of varsity here at Goddard.”

Shanor takes over for C.W. Hamilton, who resigned recently, opening up the position. Last season was a tough one for the Lady Rockets on the pitch. For the first time in a long time, Goddard did not win a game in district and were mercy-ruled in several others.

Before Shanor was given the job, she was hired as first assistant. Before being promoted, Shanor took the initiative to start holding fall ball workouts with the girls who will be playing this season. Shanor has compiled a list of strengths of each player participating. She knows the type of pitches each player likes, their range on ground balls.

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She was encouraged that 33 girls have shown up for fall ball workouts that started in mid-October. Shanor thinks that when the basketball players finish their season and come out, there might be enough players and talent to field a C-team.

“My goal is to help the girls reach their potential,” Shanor said. “From what I’ve seen already, I feel like that we can make it to state. That’s my goal — to bring us to state. I believe we have the talent and the passion. The girls were passionate even in fall ball. I had 18-20 girls to show up every day, which gets me excited.”

Shanor, 22, teaches biology and sees being young a positive for her and the team she will coach. Knowing that it has been four years since she last competed will be a plus. Her senior year was the first time Goddard made it to the state, the first time in 18 years. Shanor can relate to getting to the playoffs.

Shanor wants to make sure her team is in shape and plans to have them in peak condition once the season starts. She also wants to make sure they are fundamentally sound to take advantage of their skills and talent. Shanor thinks that by demanding more from her team it will help them in tough one-run games, where discipline and mental toughness are needed. By working hard and pushing her team, Shanor feels like if she can hire good-quality assistant coaches it will close the gap between district powers Artesia and Roswell.

“I really believe that this is going to be a good season for the girls,” Shanor said. “I’m hoping that we can compete against tougher teams outside of the district to prepare us for district games this year. Our season officially starts Jan. 29.”

Shanor believes that she can help the team make an improvement and build a strong program not only for this season but for seasons to come. She does clarify that improvement does not have to be in wins or losses, but in playing hard and having the right attitude and doing things the right way on the diamond and off.

One of the things Shanor would like her team to do outside of working hard is to have them look good. She wants to do some fund-raising in hopes of helping them become a better team.

“I believe when you look good, you feel good,” Shanor said, “when you feel good, you play good. I think we have a good support system all the way around; the kids are excited, and the parents are excited, which makes me excited. When you’re looking forward to something, I think it is going to be good.”

Goddard’s first day of softball practice starts Jan.29.