New coach Hummer has big plans for local softball

Sean C. Morgan

Of The New Era

Steve Hummer is the new head coach for Husky softball, and he said his goal is to develop a softball program for girls of all ages.

Coach Rob Younger coached his last softball team last spring, when the Huskies made it to the second round of state.

Over the winter, Hummer has been looking over rosters and reading about the program, he said, and he’s been meeting with the Boys and Girls Club about softball and talking to American Softball Association coaches and parents.

Hummer would like to form a separate softball league for grades one through 12.

The high school team would remain separate from the summer program, Hummer said. The summer program is for all comers, those who just want to have some fun and those who want to develop the skills to play high school softball.

The association he envisions will help all the programs to get on the same page, top to bottom, Hummer said. Girls will start out in softball instead of co-ed teeball.

“Six- to 8-year-olds, for the first time, are going to play against 6, 7, 8-year-old girls only,” Hummer said. Boys at that age will play only boys.

The rules for softball at that age will be similar to teeball, Hummer said, but he and others involved in this effort believe the girls will be more comfortable playing against girls.

Activities start immediately, Hummer said. Through March 1, the proposed association will talk to students in grade schools and the junior high. Signups for ages 8 through 14 are March 9 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club, and a softball clinic is planned for girls ages 6 to 12 on April 22.

Teams will begin practicing in April and playing in May.

The formalization of the association will take about a year, Hummer said, but that won’t stop activities from beginning.

With boys, coaches start working with their teams at the teeball level and work with them in subsequent years, Hummer said. He wants to set that up with softball, so coaches of 6- to 8-year-olds move through the program with their daughters.

“The main goals are to try to get more interest in playing softball,” he said. “We want to get as many girls out as we can.”

The high school program has plenty of girls out right now, Hummer said,.

“Rob’s left the program in really good shape,” he said. “We want to build on that and go to the next level and go as far in the state playoffs as possible.”

Only one girl from last year’s team graduated, Hummer said, so he is looking forward to another good year for Husky softball.

The program has a new coaching staff throughout, Hummer said. Becky Ellis will be the junior varsity coach. Doug DeMille will be her assistant coach. Dave Draper and John Seiber will assist Hummer.

The program has 45 girls signed up, Hummer said, but the Huskies will still field only a varsity and junior varsity team.

Many high school programs do not have a freshman team, so it makes scheduling difficult, Hummer said. In the long term, he said, he does want to add a freshman team.

“I’m a baseball-softball guy,” Hummer said. “I have been forever. It’s a passion of mine, and I love working with kids.”

Little in life compares to putting goals in front of kids and seeing them achieve those goals, Hummer said.

Hummer has coached baseball, football and wrestling at all levels over the last 20 years. He is currently an assistant wrestling coach at Sweet Home High School. He also is high school activities director.

“I am new to coaching girls,” Hummer said, but he has “spent the winter getting ready, and I can hardly contain myself.”