Hartsville High introduces new softball coach

Phyllis Griggs, Tommy Garrison, Jamie Horton and Dr. Charles Burry during a press conference announces athletic staff changes at Hartsville High School. Photo by Melissa Rollins

By Melissa Rollins, Editor, editor@newsandpress.net

Hartsville High School softball is in good hands next season. Tommy Garrison was introduced as the new HHS softball coach Tuesday, June 13 during a press conference with principal Dr. Charlie Burry, Athletic Director Phyllis Griggs and former coach Jamie Horton.

“We are here to introduce our second new softball coach in three years and in most places that would not be a good thing,” Burry said. “Here at Hartsville High School, though, it’s a very good thing.”

At the end of the season, Burry said, Coach Horton resigned to focus her efforts elsewhere.

“Jamie Horton resigned the softball position at the end of the season so that in the coming year she can devote more attention to her new role as assistant athletic director and “athletic director in waiting” for when Phyllis Griggs rides off into the sunset after the 2017-18 school year,” Burry said. “Fortunately, just as we did when Jamie took over for Bobby, so well, two years ago, we have an outstanding candidate ready to step up to the plate as our new head coach.”

Griggs is not a new face to the HHS athletic family: he previously served as Griggs’ assistant when she was in charge of the softball program.

Hartsville High has made a name for themselves the past few season, taking the AAA Lower State Championship in 2015, the AAA State Championship in 2016 and the AAAA Lower State Championship in 2017.

“I mention all that to let you know that, while we have had some outstanding individuals lead our teams, Hartsville High School Lady Red Foxes Softball is a complete program that legitimately contends for state championships every year,” Burry said. “Tommy has long been a part of the softball culture in our community, knows it well, and is highly respected by those who know him and follow softball closely in this area. As principal, my expectation is that the program will represent our school well in terms of being competitive, while displaying outstanding character and sportsmanship, and that our student/athletes will contribute positively to our overall school culture. I have great confidence in that happening under Tommy Garrison’s leadership.”

After some remarks from Griggs, Garrison spoke about his new position.

“I do want to thank Dr. Burry and Phyllis for this opportunity,” Garrison said. “I want to thank my family for this opportunity; you can’t do anything without good family behind you. I am looking forward to it.”

Garrison also spoke about his expectations for the program.

“I went out there before I came here this morning and I looked at the wall,” Garrison said. “I think that we played in the last five state championships and won two out of that. Not much improvement needed here. This program has been established for quite some time with a lot of good people involved in it.”

One improvement he would like to see if a jumpstart on the community support.

“I want to get the community back in it a little more than they have been the last few years,” Garrison said. “Phyllis and I had a large community involvement and that is what we are looking for. We do have a good fan base and a lot of good players coming back; we have a lot of good players coming in the future. We have a great feeder program: the rec program feeds the middle school, the middle school feeds the junior varsity, the junior varsity feeds the varsity. The feeder program is there so there is not much else we need to do except keep the kids interested and keep the parents interested.”

Author: Duane Childers

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