The Worland Warriors have hired the schools’ first softball coach, as Crystal Redding has been announced as head coach.

Worland will be one of 13 high schools that will offer softball as a new spring sport in 2021.

Redding said she’s feeling a wave of emotion after getting the job.

“A little bit of nervousness, anxious, excited, I can’t pinpoint one. It’s all just overwhelming and exciting.”

Redding is in her seventh year as a teacher at Worland High School. She played four years of high school softball in her home state of Missouri, as well as during the summertime. Redding also played one year of college softball before serving in the U.S. Navy.

“It’s a sport that I’ve always loved and enjoyed, and even when I got out of school, I continued to play with coed, slow-pitch, I love it. I’ve been trying since I got here (to Worland) to get softball into the schools. It’s finally here, and everybody knew how excited I was that I jumped for it.”

Worland High School Athletic Director Mark Mortimer released a statement with Redding's hiring announcement.

"We are excited to be part of the inaugural season of girl's softball in Wyoming. Crystal Redding will be responsible for building and leading the Lady Warrior softball team. The future is bright with a core of players who have found success with their summer club teams. We look forward to the excitement softball will bring to our community."

Worland has a summer softball program with the Worland Wildfires headed up by Dave Coronado. Redding said she’s volunteered some time with that program and worked with a few of the players. She was looking forward to putting in more time this year but the pandemic has gotten in the way.

“I’m just going to try to continue what they’re doing in the summer… I like what the girls are doing. The girls have won a state championship (in USA Softball in the summer) two years in a row.”

 

Redding feels getting ready for practices and players into a routine will be some of the pieces she looks at to start with.

“That’s what I’m going to be working on from now until our season starts, is just the organization, getting the girls ready, kind of feeling out where the girls work best at, and then just jump right in.”

To start, Wyoming will have one classification for softball in 2021, which is okay by Redding.

“I don’t mind playing the bigger teams. I actually want to play the 4A schools. I’m hoping we can get more interest into it, but, yeah, this first year’s going to be kind of rough. I was looking at the schedule that we have and it’s going to be tough.”

She was also happy to see that 13 schools jumped on board, not just the minimum of eight. She hopes more schools join after the first year.

Redding added, “I think the community (of Worland) is excited. I think it’s going to be a great year.”

Redding is the second coach hired at the high school ranks. Laramie tabbed Luke Andrews to run their first program in late February.

The first Wyoming High School Softball State Championships are scheduled for just over a year from now, May 20-22, 2021, in Gillette.

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