May 3, 2012
Waycross College’s bid for a softball conference championship fell short this past weekend at the GCAA Tournament in Locust Grove, Ga. Despite that disappointment, head coach Bryan Hartley was quick to characterize the 2012 regular season as one of many positives for the second year program.
“We’ve had two winning seasons in a row, which creates positive energy for next year,” he said. “We beat two teams (FSCJ, Darton College) that were ranked in the top 10 nationally, and we were never swept in conference play. To me, those are big accomplishments.”
The Swamp Foxes lose nine sophomores to graduation this year. The nine players were a part of the team’s 2011 inaugural season. While losing that kind of leadership and experience can present challenges, Hartley said the four returning players have a strong foundation from which to build upon.
“I feel like our freshmen learned a lot. They were able to learn about leadership from our sophomores. The sophomores, who were part of our all-freshmen team last year, didn’t have that chance,” he said.
In fact, Hartley said those returning next season are already looking forward to summer workouts.
“After the conference tournament, the freshmen told me they were ready to come back over the summer to work out and practice. That’s encouraging,” he said.
With the pending consolidation of Waycross College and South Georgia College on the horizon, Hartley said he was unsure about the future of Swamp Fox softball after the 2013 season. Nevertheless, he said he is proud of how the program has taken off in two years.“In only two years, we have built a program that has become well-respected around the state. I’m very proud of that,” he said.
Waycross College has been a proud member of the University System of Georgia since the College’s founding in 1976.