The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Sierra selected for Clovis softball post

 


CLOVIS — The Wildcats hired a new softball head coach on Friday, with "new" being a relative term. That ‘new face’ is actually a familiar one, as assistant coach Emory Sierra takes over for the 2019 season. Sierra spent the past two years under former coach Brandi Thomas, who resigned her post on May 22. He is a 2010 graduate of Clovis High, and played on the baseball and football teams.

“The things that I saw in Emory, and I think the committee saw in him as well, are a committed disposure. He had already developed a relationship with a lot (the players), because he had coached the younger group,” Clovis Athletic Director Lonnie Baca said.

“So, he had some wisdom, in regards to the talents and abilities and skills of where the athletes were currently. He was very, very optimistic in regard to thinking that they were going to be a good group of girls, who were really gonna develop into a really good team. His enthusiasm was foremost in my mind.”

Sierra teaches as Marshall Middle School teacher and has coached football and basketball at Clovis. He was hired by Thomas to be one of her assistant coaches back in 2017.

The last two seasons, however, have been tough sledding for the ‘Cats, as they’re just 4-48 since 2017, with an identical 2-8 district record and 2-24 overall record with two wins over Santa Fe in both seasons.

“I was out there with the girls last year and I saw that they had a lot of potential — if we executed. That’s really why I was interested in (the job),” Sierra explained. “(As for the rebuilding process) it’s mainly just respect. Respect for the girls, the coaches and mainly just respect for when we step on the field. It’s gonna be a big thing we preach.”

The good news for Sierra is not only his familiarity with the team, but also, a much more experienced group returning for 2019. The 2017 group had nine underclassmen and just three seniors, while the 2018 team also had nine underclassmen and just five seniors.

For 2019, however, those freshmen become sophomores, sophomores become juniors, etc. Needless to say, while it’s still a rebuild, Sierra still feels it’s time for results.

“We just have to try to get some wins,” Sierra said.

According to the head man, the biggest key is eliminating errors, whether they’re the scored ones or not.

“Defensively, we have to be sound, because errors lose games,” Sierra explained. “Offensively, we gotta be able to bunt if we need to bunt. But mostly, swing away and hit the ball. If we hit the ball and play good defense, we shouldn’t have any problem competing with anybody we play with.”

Sierra says that there’s a fastpitch softball league in town, but that league still needs to be promoted more. He believes that the more and more girls that get involved in that program, the better.

This job will be his first head coaching gig in any varsity sport, but he doesn’t feel the nerves or pressure that usually come with the territory.

“Nothing to hold back,” Sierra said. “I’ll ask for advice from my peers, wherever I can get it. If I need some help on some things, I won’t be scared to ask.

“Me being young, I got a lot of things to learn. But we can’t hold back, we just got to hit the ground running. We can’t look in the past, we just got to move forward.”

 

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