All-Area Fast Pitch Coach of Year: Amir Hunt

Amir Hunt
Staff Writer

To speak on softball in Webster County the word “champions” will be difficult to omit.

Teams in Class 2A North are going to run into either Eupora or East Webster to try to win it all and many of them have come up on the wrong side of things when it’s said and done. That championship luster was beginning to fade for Eupora after winning a slow pitch state title in 2015, but Amir Hunt is bringing the expectations back to an all-time high.

In Hunt’s first season as the Lady Eagles’ head coach, he won the regular season district championship in slow pitch. He followed that up with a Class 2A, Region 2 title in fast pitch this season and a 19-1 regular season with a perfect district record.

Though Eupora came up short to eventual state runners up Lake, it was a season Hunt counts as a complete success. He was chosen the Starkville Daily News Area Fast Pitch Coach of the Year.

“I told them to never let two losses define a whole season,” Hunt said. “We went from not making the playoffs last year to 10-0 in the division.

“These seniors set the bar high so the expectations are there for next year. They came in and bought into my program and my philosophy quick. They never asked questions and said, “yes sir.” One of the seniors said that this was the first year they felt like a family.”

As Hunt mentioned, the seniors were a huge part of things for this year but also for the future of the team.

Delta Claire Newman, Savannah Kilpatrick, Annslie Steadman and Christiana Boren experienced the losing season last year and were determined to make things different. They followed Hunt’s teachings and took leadership to themselves in order to take things to the next level.

“This is the best year we’ve had,” Newman said. “We’ve always had the talent and we’ve always done the work, but we’ve never had a team like this that likes to work together. It’s just a big family down here and it made the difference.

“Coach Hunt puts a new element in it. He makes it fun and you come out here to put in the work. I always joke with him that he makes you work on the sly. You don’t really know you’re doing it. He’s a good coach.”

Hunt will miss his seniors, but his team isn’t going anywhere any time soon. There’s a lineup full of experienced players ready to take yet another step forward and to add to the state championship sign in centerfield.

The Lady Eagles return big pieces to the squad including All-Area standouts sophomore Meleah Pogue and junior Haley Farley. They also have starters Alley Reed, Patience Bingham, Haylee McCrory, Kylie Richardson and Addison Mason on the way back.

“We’ve got talent coming back,” Hunt said. “We’ve got some young girls coming back that have experienced some things so they know what it’s like. We’re excited about what’s to come for our program.”