Spotlight on: Cassie Wisdom
The girls sports programs at Vina High School have been on the rise over the past few years.
The girl’s basketball team improved upon their season two years ago and the track team won its seventh-straight overall county title this season.
The softball team at Vina is very young overall, and before the 2013 season the program had a coaching change.
In stepped Cassie Wisdom, a teacher at Vina. Wisdom was asked by principal James Pharr to fill the void due to her background with the sport.
“I teach first grade at Vina High School,” Wisdom said. “I enjoy it. I went to Russellville High School.
“I went to college at UNA for my undergrad. Then I went to the University of North Alabama for my Master’s and ED.S. Degree.
Last year was my first year coaching softball. I have been around softball since I was five. I grew up playing it. I enjoyed playing it and being around a team.”
Two years ago the team struggled against the other Class 1A teams in the area, mainly against Tharptown, Belgreen and Hackleburg.
At the beginning of the 2013 season the Lady Red Devils participated in a tournament hosted by Belgreen, and it was immediately clear the team was better than the 2012 version.
“The team is improving,” Wisdom said. “Next year they should be better.
“At the beginning of the season the team did OK, but the team started improving. Overall they improved so much.
“They learned to run the bases so much better and their hitting improved. I’m looking forward to seeing how much better we get next season.
I think they will be better than they were. I’m hoping for good things.”
This may have been Wisdom’s first year as a head softball coach, but teaching is nothing new to the young woman at the team’s helm.
“I decided I wanted to teach when I was in college,” she said. “It took me awhile to decide. I enjoy kids and being around them, so I thought this would be a great profession for me.
“I decided to coach when they asked me, but I’ve always been interested in the sport.”
Now that the 2013 softball season has come and gone, Wisdom has a chance to reflect on her first experience as a head coach.
“I enjoyed coaching the girls,” she said. “It is a lot different from playing the game, but it was a lot of fun.“ I enjoyed being around the girls and learning as I went.”