By DAVID HUNTER
The Cannon Courier
It is a new beginning for the CCHS softball team in 2017 with some old ideas as Cannon Courier Hall of Famer, Emily Mullins along with her husband, Phillip takes over the program.
Two seasons ago, Mullins' (nee Sissom) mother and father was at the helm of it. For the four returning seniors, this is their third head coach in three consecutive seasons, but this transition is going well heading into opening day this week.
"The adjustment is going really well, and they are really good coaches," Returning senior Raquel Novoa said. "They make us work hard and push ourselves. I think it is going really great."
One of the co-head coaches Phillip Mullins added, "I think it has been smoother than what we thought it was going to be. I give credit to these players, because we got freshmen who are eager to play, and those seniors who want to lead. I think they are hungry to play and hungry to win."
Novoa is one of four returning experienced seniors along with Joie and Kallie McCrary and Laura Beth Nichols. The team will also be made up of two juniors, Shianne Ashford and Bailey Goin and one sophomore Anna Brandon.
In the meantime, a youth movement will be taking place for the program as nine freshmen from last season's very successful Junior Lionettes middle grade team will make the jump to high school softball this season.
The four seniors will be looked upon to provide leadership and guidance for those making the transition to the high school level of softball.
"We try to help them as much as we can," Nichols said. "When we see something wrong, we try to correct them."
Joie McCrary added, "Our youth coming in this year has a lot of talent, and they are working in. They are working well, and talking well. We are excited to be playing with them this year.
As for the competitive district, both the players and coaches believe they have the pieces to compete for the title and beyond during the postseason, but it will be a tough test on opening day as they host hated rival and district foe DeKalb County on March 13.
"I think everyone else is super excited, and I feel like is going to be our best season, and we are going to do great," Novoa said.
Besides going for a district title and beyond, the main goal for the Lionettes this season is for them to come together as a team.
"Just to make sure we are working good together and getting everybody where they need to be," Kallie McCrary said.
Mullins added, "Our goal is to improve and get better each day."