Each year presents an opportunity to turn over a new leaf. Often times resolutions are made and changes are implemented in hopes of a better life. With the fall season already upon us and spring season coming quicker than we care to admit, Covenant’s softball team has also made some changes.
Most significantly, the team now has a new coach at the helm. Christine Engbers, a Covenant graduate (’12) and assistant for the last four years, has officially stepped in as the head coach. After 8 years the Covenant Athletic Department and Sara Russell parted ways in a fairly abrupt fashion.
Luckily (or rather, providentially, since this is Covenant) Coach Engbers really fit the bill of head coach and even brings four years of head coaching experience (Dade County High School) with her, not to mention a state championship. The Athletic Department’s policy doesn’t allow for comments on the personnel decision, but athletic director Tim Sceggel did voice his excitement for the new chapter the softball team will set out to write under the guidance of Coach Engbers.
Engbers herself expressed a similar excitement in a recent interview, noting, “If we come together . . . I think that we are going to be in a really good position to do really well.” She has a sense of confidence coupled with a realistic realization of the process that all winning programs have in common. Coach Engbers’ confidence is also bolstered by the fact that the team only lost four players from last year’s team and gained seven freshmen.
Two returners, Shade and Tyler Epes, were kind enough to comment on the recent changes and upcoming season. Enlivened by a more rigorous practice schedule, the Epes’ echoed their coach’s confidence stating that to reach the conference tournament has become one of their goals.
The Epes’ noted the talent on the team, but also the maturation process that some of their older players have gone through in their times at Covenant. That process is also something Coach Engbers picked up on. Acknowledgement of this process shows that the team is willing to do whatever it takes to develop a winning program.
In both interviews, it became increasingly apparent that the changes made in the program are for the better and we should expect big things from the Covenant Softball team this year.