Thomas coaching daughters twice as nice at Choctaw County

Lizzie and Lance Thomas
By: 
DANNY P. SMITH
Staff Writer

Lance Thomas found out that coaching and being a father was twice as nice during the spring.

In his first season as the head softball coach at Choctaw County High School in Ackerman, Thomas was able to coach both of his daughters Lizzie and Molly Kate.

Lizzie was a senior this past year with the Lady Chargers, while Molly Kate was a seventh grader on the team.

“To coach them was a real joy,” Lance Thomas said about his daughters. “They are easy girls to coach, they know the game and are very coachable girls. To watch them be leaders out there, it was a very special thing.”

It was a successful season for the Thomas clan at Choctaw County. Along with making the playoffs, Lizzie received the opportunity to play in the NEMCA All-Star Softball game along with Ayana Taylor and Allie Brown.

Lizzie admitted being a little nervous to have her father as a coach again, but was pleased with the way the season played out.

“When I started in the fourth grade and he was my travel ball coach, we always had a lot of fun,” Lizzie said. “He was a football coach so he was always hard on me and always wanted me to do good. He hadn’t coached me in so long and I don’t know why I was so nervous, but we’ve had the most fun because I realize how much I missed my dad being my coach.”

With two daughters on the team, coach Thomas could have chosen to show favoritism.

That was never a problem with the Lady Chargers because Lizzie and Molly Kate played their way into the playing time they received.

“As coachable as they are and as hard as they play, I never worry about that part in terms of favoritism,” coach Thomas said. “They earn it and prove it daily when they are out there.”

As far as Lizzie’s All-Star opportunity, Lance spent some time in the dugout with her, Taylor and Brown.

He was impressed with the leadership that all three of them showed and felt they represented Choctaw County well.

“I saw the three girls be leaders out there,” coach Thomas said. “Whenever I was in the dugout, there were three girls making a lot of noise and cheering on their teammates. It was those three girls. It was always easy to recognize Lizzie, Ayanna and Allie’s voices.”

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