Commonwealth Journal

Local Sports

April 5, 2014

Pulaski’s Walk Off

10 players and 3 assistant coaches leave the Lady Maroons’ softball program in midseason

Somerset — Over the past three seasons, the Pulaski County High School softball program has went through several changes.

This past Thursday, the Lady Maroons’ softball program went through one of its most drastic changes ever – with 10 players and 3 assistant coaches leaving the program after only 11 games played this season.

Two years prior, the late Scott Taylor resigned as the Lady Maroons’ head coach after leading his teams to an unprecedented 12th Region championship title  and four regional championship game appearances.

Kevin McKee, who replaced Taylor, coached the Lady Maroons last season and was preparing for the upcoming 2014 softball season. However, just one week prior to the start of the 2014 season, McKee was asked to step down and was replaced by Brad Gover.

According to former Pulaski assistant coach Missy Murphy, issues started arising throughout their first 11 games of the season. This past Tuesday, assistant coaches and players started meeting with school officials about their concerns with the program. On Thursday the Pulaski softball roster was reduced to only 4 players and head coach Brad Gover, after the 10 players and 3 assistant coaches left the team.

In a prepared statement by the three departed assistant coaches – Jack Roney, Peggy Sewell and Missy Murphy – they explained thier reasons for leaving the program.

“In late February, a week before the first scrimmage of the season, the team was rattled with a change in the head coaching position. This was a very hard blow for the team so close to season starting.  We knew there would be an adjustment period and the transition would be difficult.”  

“Although this was a very emotional time, the team rallied together and decided that they would stay together and finish the season because they had worked hard, put in a lot of time, but mostly because they loved the game.”

“On the field, the players made every attempt to change the things they were asked to change. Within a five-week period of time, we witnessed things and heard things being done to the players that included bullying, berating, intimidation, humiliation, and retaliation.”

“It finally reached a point in which we had to decide what was right and what was wrong and let our decision be based on that.”

“Unfortunately, after taking all they could, the players decided it was necessary to walk away from something they loved.  When 10 players and 3 assistant coaches make this kind of decision, there is a bigger problem than is willing to be admitted.  All of this was shared with administration, but they chose to stay with their decision that was made in February without giving any consideration to the long history of this successful program and the players that have sacrificed so much for it.”

According to Pulaski athletic director Brian Miller, coaches are in the process of fielding a softball team and will hopefully be ready to play their next game which will be at Boyle County High School on Monday, April 7.

Pulaski County High School principal Mike Murphy stood behind his new softball coach, and only wants to look forward to the future of the Lady Maroons’ softball program.

“As you know we have made a change in the (softball) head coaching position,” Murphy stated. “I realize some parents or others may not be in agreement with the change but the decision was made in the best interest of the students at Pulaski County High School.”

“In regards to providing a girls’ softball program for the students interested in playing, we currently have that opportunity and will continue to in the future,” Murphy added.

The Lady Maroons are scheduled to play at Somerset High School on Tuesday, April 8, in a cross-town 47th District match-up.

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