A few weeks ago, one of the leading scorers in Lionette basketball history and Cannon Courier Hall of Famer, Emily Mullins, was named the new CCHS softball coach. The Lionettes have been hard at work getting ready for the season this spring. In the meantime, Mullins sat down with the Cannon Courier to discuss the state of the softball program, and here are her answers. We thank her for her time.
1. Why did you decide to take the CCHS softball job?
A: They asked me last year, and I said I will think about it. I ended up not doing it last year. My husband and I kept talking about it. He is also my assistant coach. So, I played softball when I played here, and I have been around softball my whole life. I just enjoy the sport, and me and him talked about it. We were both interested in it, and I have a great group of girls coming up.
2. How excited are you about the CCHS softball program this upcoming season?
A: I am excited for it, and I like the things we have seen so far. We have only been working on conditioning type things. We have a lot of tough girls. The older girls have stepped up and been taking those leadership roles early. I love to see that, and the freshman have filling in well. It has blended already, and that is exciting to see. I am excited that I think we can compete these next couple of years with the people we have coming in already. That is exciting to see.
3. How has fall practice gone so far?
A: It has been going well. It has mostly been conditioning. They have been working hard, and they can throw right now. A lot of stuff is us sitting back, and they can do throwing drills and that type of thing rather than us having more of a structured practice, because we cannot start that until the spring. We have not been able to hit, and we are about to start weights.
4. What will it take to be competitive in a very tough district this season?
A: I think it is just getting past that mental block of like the DeKalb's, Livingston's. We got a great field, and I have not seen them hit a lot, but I feel that is going to be important. Can we put the ball in play and can score? We want to be very consistent defensively. It is just the mental getting past of okay we can play with these teams.
5. How do you balance being as assistant on the CCHS girls' basketball team along with being the new head coach of the CCHS softball team?
A: Very carefully. It has been since these are the first two weeks of the basketball season, it is starting to get a little challenging. However, my husband Phillip and fellow assistant coach Hope Melton, and my dad has been helping. They have been great of when I need to be at basketball since it is the season now. When I am needed at basketball, they are covering softball. The girls have been receptive to them. It is going to be a busy season throughout the whole year, but I am going to have to take it one day at a time, and plan a very good schedule.
6. What has been the transition been like from recently playing for CCHS to now coaching at the same school?
A: I think the fact that it was not long ago that I was here is my favorite part of about coaching. Is that I can relate to the girls very easily, and they have an understanding that I was in their shoes not too long ago. Just pouring into their lives, and looking at them not necessary as I am just their coach, but I am there to help them with all aspects that they will be going through during these four years. That is my favorite part of coaching, and it is another reason why it was not hard for me to take another team, because I just love being around those girls."
7. What can CCHS supporters expect out of the softball team this spring?
A: I think some good things are going to come during the spring. I think we will be a surprise, and we have a good team. They are tough, and we have some good infielders and outfielders. I think there is a lot of good things to look forward to this spring.
8. How pleased are you with the chemistry of the team so far since you have a mix of youth and experience?
A: That is huge, and that is something I told them from the get go of just chemistry, expectations and accountability. All those things come together before we can be anything good with the softball aspect. We got to get those team things down first. I think they have been responsive to that, especially here lately with the accountability part. Even for preseason workouts, they have been showing up on time, and even early. I think there has been some good chemistry from what I have seen so far.