E.A. Sports Today

Until the end, Nix focus is Ragland softball

Updates to clarify coach’s situation; Nix to stay with team into April, then join Pleasant Valley

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

Ragland scored twice in the second inning and then hung on to edge Faith Christian 4-1 in a softball game Wednesday.

The Purple Devils (2-0) were the state Class 1A champions in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and were in the state tournament a year ago, but were given a good test by the young Lions (0-6).

Faith freshman Presley Whitten struck out four in a game that was halted in the sixth inning due to darkness. Kristen Covington scored the Lions’ lone run.

“We have played more games on our home field than we have been able to practice this year due to all the bad weather,” Faith coach Bradley Dawson said. “We are just not getting enough multiple hits from our offense.”

Ragland hasn’t had much luck with the weather either. Coach Jonathan Nix, the architect of Ragland’s softball dynasty, is in his final season with the Purple Devils before he moves on to take over the Pleasant Valley football program later this spring.

All the details of the transition still haven’t been worked out yet, but he said he plans to stay with the Purple Devils until “in April sometime.” His two assistants will be vital in keeping them on track.

“I’m trying to go as long as I can with them,” he said. “There’s just no way I can coach them the (entire) season.”

Nix was approved as Pleasant Valley’s new football coach last month.

As the Ragland football coach he had it set up for the Purple Devils to play in Donoho’s May spring football jamboree the Monday after the state softball weekend in Montgomery.

With the Pleasant Valley job, the Raiders’ Spring Jam game at Jacksonville State against Saks is the same day as the state softball championships.

Nix said he appreciated being able to continue coaching the softball team with his new opportunity looming and is steadfastly committed to the Purple Devils as long as he is in their coaching box.

“If I coach, I’ve got to coach it like I’ve always coached it,” he said. “If I want to coach you six weeks into the season then I’m going to coach you like I always have. I can’t back off. It’s not fair to them. I’ve got great senior leadership on that team and I know they would want that.”



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