Family Community Christian School Lady Warrior softball team will be led by first-year head coach Justin Russell this season.
Russell, who was FCCS boy’s and girl’s high school basketball coach, inherits a talented squad from last year’s head coach Rory Gresham. Nine players are returning with 19 girls dressing out.
“I fell into a good team as the first year coach for FCCS,” Russell said. “I need them to buy into this system and trust the process.”
Russell is a 2019 Louisiana College graduate and has coaching stints at Northwood Lena Academy, travel, Dixie Youth softball and was assistant coach for FCCS. He has also been a pitching coach.
“I may be young but don’t doubt us,” Russell said. “We have a really good team.”
Anchoring the team is senior Ashlyn Sepulvado who will put time in as pitcher and first base. Sepulvado also signed to play with Louisiana College in Pineville.
“Ashlyn is a great player,” Russell said. “She is solid in the field and has a strong bat.”
Seventh grader Jadyn Hutchinson will also pitch for FCCS.
“Jadyn is an excellent ball player,” Russell said. “She has played a lot of travel ball.”
Backing up Sepulvado and Hutchinson on the pitcher’s mound will be a host of talented infielders.
Playing short stop and third base will be senior Annaliese Thomas. Lexi Parker, eleventh grader, and Lani McCain also are returning to the Lady Warrior squad.
Sharing the catcher’s role will be Tristen Newman and McCain.
“A lot of these girls can take the ball yard,” Russell said. “They are all solid in the field.”
A new edition to the Lady Warriors this year is Mangham-transfer Andy Allen, a ninth grader.
“We’re really excited about Andy,” Russell said. “She is solid in the field and has a good bat.”
The Lady Warriors have a 33-game schedule. Many of the teams they face are a higher class rank such as Bolton, Vidalia, Sicily Island and Dodson high schools.
“We’re playing all over the state,” he said.
One game to look for will be played at the Grace Christian tournament with Oak Hill, Russell said.
“I’m really looking forward to that game,” he said.
FCCS’s only district opponent is Forest. Forest lost in the 2019 LHSAA state softball championship to Holden, 5-1. 2020’s softball season was canceled due to COVID-19.
First home game scheduled is a doubleheader against Sicily Island High School on Feb. 23. FCCS does play scrimmages before then with Georgetown on Feb. 1 and Delhi on Feb. 8.
“We’re going to be a force to be reckoned with,” Russell said. “I’m thankful that Ms. Liz Rigdon for giving me this opportunity.”
2020 FCCS Lady Warriors