By CHRIS LYNN, Main Street Media
Former Friendship Christian head softball coach Erica Powell has accepted the head coaching job at Class AAA power Beech High School. Powell, 33, spent the past season teaching English and serving as an assistant to Kacey Pedigo at Mt. Juliet High after resigning her position at FCS following the 2010 season.
A 1996 graduate of Friendship Christian, Powell took the Lady Commanders to four consecutive trips to the Class A state tournament in her four years as head coach -- compiling a won-loss record of 119-56. Her FCS teams finished third twice, fourth once and fifth once.
Powell had no reservations taking over a team that won the 2011 Class AAA state title with a record of 42-11-2 -- the fourth state championship in the history of the program.
“I think stepping into a head coaching position with a team that’s had a lot of success over the past can be a challenge, but I truly believe that I hold a lot of the same philosophies that the previous coaches have,” said Powell.
“I would rather step into this position (at Beech) where expectations are high than to go somewhere that doesn’t have those same expectations because I’m a firm believer that expectations should always be high here.
“Beech has such a great tradition in softball, and its teams have always been so classy, and I plan to keep all that going.
“I was fortunate enough to see Beech about five times last year and every time I saw them they were a better team, but they were always the hardest working team on the field, and I think that’s why they had so much success last season.”
After a stellar prep career at Friendship Christian, Powell then went on to pitch for Troy University (AL).
Powell got her first head coaching position at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College for two years, and then coached one year at Hooper Academy in Hope Hull, Alabama and took her team to a fourth place finish in the Alabama state tournament.