E.A. Sports Today

Midseason change

Pleasant Valley’s Youngman relieved of coaching duties; assistant and 2013 graduate Turner to serve as interim head coach

By Joe Medley
East Alabama Sports Today

Dalton Turner played baseball for Pleasant Valley. After a midseason coaching change, he’s serving as the Raiders interim head coach.

Turner coached the Raiders during their doubleheader sweep of Sand Rock on Thursday at home. This after Chris Youngman was relieved of his coaching duties at midseason.

“Coach Youngman is a wonderful person,” Pleasant Valley principal Laura Knighton said. “He has put a lot of pride, time, and effort into his baseball coaching career and upgrading the baseball facilities during his tenure, and we have nothing but best wishes for his future.

“Administratively, we decided that it was time to take the program in a different direction. Our focus is on giving our players the best possible experience for the duration of this season and into the future of Raider baseball.”  

Youngman succeeded Darren Hamby as Pleasant Valley’s coach before the 2017 season after coaching under Tommy Miller at Jacksonville Christian. Youngman coached the Raiders six-and-a-half seasons, with playoff berths in 2017 and 2018.

He is a tenured sixth-grade teacher at Pleasant Valley Elementary School and continues in that role.

Knighton said the decision to make a change in leadership of the baseball program “is not tied to any specific incident.”

Youngman is also part of the football coaching staff at Pleasant Valley.

“The 2023-2024 coaching staff will be determined at the end of the school year,” Knighton said.

Turner, a 2013 Pleasant Valley graduate, becomes interim head coach after serving as an assistant.

“Any time there is a coaching change, it can be tough,” he said. “Our focus is on the kids. We want to make these next three weeks enjoyable for them. 

“We have great leadership on this team from seniors down to eighth-graders. We have a great coaching staff, Coach Dexter Duncan and Coach Kenny Duncan, that love our kids and want the best for them.”

Turner served as interim head coach during Pleasant Valley’s Class 2A, Area 13 sweep of Sand Rock on Thursday. The Raiders won Game 1, 10-6, and Game 2, 27-3 in three innings.

They mounted 18 hits, scoring 12 runs in the first inning and 11 in the second.

“Last night was a great night,” Turner said. “Having graduated from PV and playing in this program, it meant a lot to be able to give back to our community in a positive way. Our kids made it easy. It was all about them last night. 

“We hit the ball extremely well and cut down errors that had been sealing our fate in games where we had huge leads. We are excited for the future of Pleasant Valley baseball.”

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