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Stone Memorial High School softball will be under the leadership of new head coach Jamie Smith this season, as he will take over the program and the football team’s strength and conditioning coach role.

Smith initially accepted the role with the football program, but softball has come as a welcome surprise.

“Softball actually wasn’t something I was looking at doing, but when the job came available it piqued my interest,” he said. “It was unexpected, but definitely something I wanted, because I know where our softball team is and I know I can help them.”

Smith takes over the softball program following previous head coach Brittany Bilbrey. SMHS only played one regular-season softball game in 2020 before their season was cut short due to COVID-19.

To take over the head coaching role, Smith traveled north to find his new home in Crossville.

“I moved to Tennessee from Georgia,” he said. “My hometown is Wrens, which is not too far from the Masters tournament. Golf is already a big thing to me, so moving to Crossville is a fit.”

An Augusta State graduate, Smith has previous coaching experience on the softball diamond.

“I coached middle school softball and baseball for five years, then moved up here and got into football,” he said. “Now things have lined up to take over softball.”

Smith’s role with the football program is more vital than ever, as teams have missed weeks in the weight room due to COVID-19.

“The wins and losses come from the weight room before the games are even played,” Smith said. “These kids have worked their tails off and have responded well. They are ready to go.

“Just having the in-person interaction changes things for the best.”

Stone Memorial’s football season is currently scheduled to kick off on Friday, Aug. 21.