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The Chrisman High School Softball team was notified on December 13th that Coach Jamie Watters would be stepping down as head coach.
Watters was one of the driving forces behind the inception of the Chrisman girls softball team.
With the co-op program, the girls who wanted to play softball would be shipped to Georgetown/Ridge Farm to play.
“We had enough girls going up there that it just overloaded the co-op because Georgetown had plenty of their own,” Watters told us.
As numbers continued to grow, some of the Chrisman girls were not going up to Georgetown to play. With the Chrisman players, the team had a total of twenty-seven players. Seeing that his girls weren’t getting the opportunity to play, Watters thought of ways that the girls could play.
“We had a good junior program going to the Legion in Paris every year playing,” Watters said.
Watters, along with Pam Francis and others, began attending school board meetings to present the idea of starting a Chrisman softball team.
“We had good numbers and it was brought up that it would start self-funded if we could start it ourselves, they would go ahead and do it,” Jamie said.
“The community was really good about it and the admin at the school was really helpful with everything they could do for us.”
The season officially began its first season on March 12th, 2019. The following seasons were full of ups and downs, including the school being closed due to COVID and the entire team being quarantined, ending their season.
With the 2021 season approaching, Coach Watters made the decision to step down after some unforeseen health issues came up.
“I don’t know what all is going to have to happen this spring. I didn’t know if I would be able to devote enough time to it,” Watters said.
The decision was a hard one for Watters, but after having a discussion with Principal Cole Huber, he didn’t see any other way.
“We got such a good thing going and there’s still a good youth program with the Chrisman teams and I didn’t want to see it just fall through the cracks,” Jamie said.
The numbers with the softball program are good enough to compete with volleyball numbers. With a good incoming class both this year and next year, it was something that Watters didn’t want Chrisman to lose.
“I just didn’t want to see it go by the wayside,” Jamie said.
With the decision already made, before it was public, Watters texted the softball team to let them know of the news. “I’ve known a lot of them since they were really little because of being involved with the youth program before high school,” Watters said. “Anything I can do to help out, they know that all they had to do was call.”
As a replacement, the school will take care of finding the new coach and Watters stated that he doesn’t see himself coming back. Memories of study hall bus trips and fun times are what the girls and Watters are left with.
“I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t something that I just did,” Jamie said. “I loved it. I had a really good time.”