Ethel High School fast-pitch softball coach Tyler McKinley is quick to admit that his Lady Tigers were in the midst of a few growing pains as the season was halted due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but he also notes his squad was beginning to improve.
“We have traditionally started slow and finished strong,” McKinley said of his 3-3 Lady Tigers. “We were just kind of sputtering along, and were about to play South Pontotoc (the week the season was put on hold) and they are one of the best teams in the state. They are really good. I fell like we could have been just about to start hitting our stride.”
He acknowledged the loss of five seniors who had played a major role in Ethel’s success for the past few years played a part in the team’s slow start, but also noted that the competition had been strong, something he adheres to.
“We try to play good teams early,” McKinley said. “I really think that helps when you get to district play. “
He said he was confident his team will be competitive in district play once the season returns, if it does. “I think we will be fine,” he said. “We will have a chance to do well.”
The teams Ethel competes with in the region are French Camp Academy, Noxapater, Nanih Waiya and West Lowndes.
If schools reopen and the season starts back, it will likely be on a limited basis and would likely consist of a handful of games before beginning the playoffs.