News-Argus Softball coach of the year -- David West
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 12, 2005 2:06 AM
PIKEVILLE -- Listening to David West describe his work as head softball coach at Charles B. Aycock makes someone who is not directly involved with the program think he's nothing but an equipment manager.
West unlocks the storage cabinet, grabs one or two buckets of balls and his trusty bat. He knocks around a few infield grounders, hits a fly ball to the outfield every now and then, and gives a small pre-game speech.
That, believe it or not, is the easy part of West's job.
The trick is taking the abundant talent he's been blessed with each season and molding it into a winning team. So far, West hasn't done too bad in four campaigns at the Class 3-A power.
But, admittedly, this might have been West's most-difficult challenge to date. Aycock returned numerous starters, however, players slowly disappeared as the season progressed.
The Golden Falcons encountered a short early-season slump -- back-to-back losses against North Lenoir and league rival South Central.
"After we had a couple of down games, everything started to come together for us," said West. "The girls really played well."
C.B. Aycock reeled off 15 consecutive victories after the South Central loss. The Golden Falcons claimed their third straight Eastern Carolina Conference crown and followed that up with an eastern regional title in the N.C. High School Athletic Association final four.
Although C.B. Aycock's fantasy of winning a state championship remained a dream, West couldn't have been more proud of his team's effort. After assembling yet another great team in Golden Falcon history, West is the 2005 News-Argus softball coach of the year.
"I thought it was a great season (that) didn't end like we wanted it to," said West. "I know we had a great chance because we had a great team."
Aycock racked up 22 victories in 27 outings and received solid contributions from every player each game -- either on defense or offense. West didn't spend much time fine-tuning fundamentals and left that task to assistant coaches Carrie Reynell and T.J. Lancaster.
Game experience, West noted, came from travel ball. He credited the commitment of the parents, especially Keith Edgerton, Nick Burroughs and Wayne Jackson. Either Burroughs or Edgerton called pitches in the dugout.
With all those pieces of the puzzle in place, West concentrated on motivating the team. The players never got overly excited with West's enthusiasm and just maintained their blue-collar attitude each time they stepped onto the field.
"The team principle was there and that's what I liked about it," said West.
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