By BRYAN URBACH
Palestine High School has a new coach in town, and she’s ready to make an immediate impact.
Palestine athletic director Lance Angel announced the hire of Monahans coach Megan Clingman this week to lead the Ladycat softball program.
“The great thing about her (Clingman) is that she’s been a head coach for the past five years now,” Angel said. “She was two years at Joaquin, and the last three years in Monahans out in West Texas, so she knows what she’s doing.”
In making the decision to come to Palestine, Clingman decided it was time to return to the area she knew best.
“I had worked already once before in East Texas, and I was just really looking to come back,” Clingman said. “I guess I just missed the trees and the rain. I had moved back out to where my family is at -- out in the middle of the desert in West Texas. I was definitely ready to get back into more of the bigger town atmosphere.”
Clingman said she looks to have a positive impact and get started right away inputting her style of play. After going 12-14 in her last season with Monahans, Clingman said she’s ready for a ‘new, fresh start.’
“I find that if the girls are real receptive to what I can do and what I’m all about, then we are going to have a real quick improvement,” Clingman said. “I’m hoping that we have a real good group with hard workers, and that you’ll see a big jump in their skills and their wins for the season.”
Clingman isn’t the only coach in town who is excited about her fresh start.
With Clingman being a pitcher in college, Angel said he thinks that she can make an impact right away on one of the most important positions in softball.
“She pitched in college,” Angel said. “So, we think she can do a great job here in not only improving the program, but also helping out our pitchers, which obviously is a big deal in softball.”
Clingman, a Midland High School graduate and longtime pitcher, started her college softball career off in good fashion, practicing with the Olympic Team in the summer of 2000 before attending Central Arizona College.
She then played at Navarro College and held the Lady Bulldogs’ record for most shutouts in a season with seven, and also added 62 strikeouts.
She finished her college career with year-long stints at the University of North Carolina and Angelo State University.
Sports editor Bryan Urbach can be reached via email at email@example.com