The Jackson Lady Devils softball team is busy preparing for the upcoming season, with a scrimmage game at Strong Rock Christian in Locust Grove on Aug. 3 at 6 p.m.
The Lady Devils will be under a new head coach, Nicole Bailey, after Charlie Biles retired from coaching at the end of last season.
Bailey was the head coach for the Lady Pirates of Brunswick High School for the last two years, and prior to that, was the head coach for the Hampton Lady Hornets in Henry County from 2015 to 2018. In 2018 she led the Lady Hornets to the school’s first region title in any sport (Hampton opened in 2014) and third place in the state playoffs. She was also named the GACA (Georgia Athletics Coaches Association) Region 4-AAAA Coach of the Year.
Bailey, who grew up in North Carolina and has a Bachelor of Arts from St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, NC, and a Masters in Education from the University of West Georgia, said she decided to come back to the Butts County area because she missed being with family and friends.
“This is home for me, and Brunswick is quite far away,” Bailey said. “It gave me an opportunity to come home and be close to my friends and family, but also work with a great group of girls. I’ve spent a lot of time here.”
Bailey and her Lady Devils have been practicing since June and she is excited with how they look.
“We look pretty good,” she said. “We have a JV and a varsity, and we have some kids that are going to play on both. I’m pretty excited. Me being new, sometimes that’s an adjustment, but the girls are trusting me and buying in, and they are doing really well.”
Bailey also had a chance to see what the future for the Jackson Lady Devils looks like by hosting a softball camp last week.
“I try to do a kiddie camp every summer, so we had girls from 7 to 13 out here,” she said. “It was pretty good. We worked on a lot of fundamentals, talked about some hitting stuff, and really trying to get them to focus on the little things of the game.”