The Long County Blue Tide softball team has found their new head coach in former Wayne County softball coach Dave Madray.
Long County introduced Madray to the softball team last week and the community already seems to be buzzing with excitement for the team’s new coach. This should be expected with Madray bringing an impressive resume from Jesup.
Madray looks to have the same success with the Lady Tide that he did in Wayne County and he knows that he has a core group of talented players returning for the 2019 season. He is excited about starting over with an already impressive group of athletes and has been appreciative of former head coach Tyler Chambless and Long County High School athletic director Shawn Peek helping with the needed adjustments.
“Coach Chambless and his staff have done a magnificent job with the team the last couple of years and they have been very helpful in the coaching transition thus far as has been Shawn Peek,” Madray said in an email. “Coach Chambless has had several successful seasons including the 2018 campaign that revealed a very competitive team that can play."
The Lady Tide should look to lean heavily on its returning players, which include an experienced class of seniors as well as a hefty group of rising juniors and sophomores. However, Madray also seems to be impressed with the class of 2023, who he credits Long County Middle School head softball coach Kristin Barratta with preparing them for their transition into high school play.
“I know the loss of the seniors will be felt but Coach Barratta has a number of solid rising freshmen prospects eager to step up. I anticipate some first-timers who may not have played before will also be looking to try out for the 2019 edition of the Tide.”
During his six-year run with the Yellow Jackets, Madray held a 150-59 record, led Wayne County to the state playoffs every season and advanced to the Elite Eight round four times. His 2017 team barely missed winning the state championship, falling to Locust Grove in the championship game 4-2. He knows his previous success should play well into his strategy with the Lady Tide and he seems to already have a plan in place when preseason workouts begin in the coming weeks.
“I am a hard worker and passionate about competing in GHSA's fast pitch. I bring a ‘rain or shine’ approach that has evolved from several years of coaching on the high school baseball and softball diamonds at both the AAAA and AAAAA divisions,” Madray said about his prior experience.
He said that he wants the city of Ludowici and the Lady Blue Tide to rest assured that he is willing to do what it takes to win and bring success to Long County.
“I bring a vision to win! I bring a comprehensive approach recognizing the necessity of player dedication, rec-travel programs, middle school involvement, community involvement, and alumni involvement.”
With the Lady Tide advancing to their first Sweet Sixteen in over a decade last season and on the threshold of contending for a state championship, Coach Madray should bring a rejuvenated feel to the softball diamonds in Ludowici.