Otwell becomes latest Holtville softball coachPublished 5:15pm Friday, June 13, 2014
Daryl Otwell hopes familiarity breeds quick success.
After coaching last season alongside now retired coach Robert Rollan, the 25-year-old will take the reins of the Holtville Lady Bulldog softball program in what he thinks will be a smooth transition.
“I was fortunate enough to the have the opportunity to coach with the girls last year,” Otwell said. “I got the know the girls so I think it’ll be an easy transition for me.”
The former Alabama Class 3A High School Player of the Year and four-time state champion at Hokes Bluff brings a more laid-back approach to a program that finished third in the state tournament in 2012 under Rollan. With the coaching collaboration and a young team, the Lady Bulldogs failed to reach regionals this past season.
“(Rollan) and I, we have a lot in common,” Otwell said. “I thought we worked well together last year. Some of things we used, we’ll continue to do, so it’ll be an easy transition for the girls.”
But the new head coach said there’ll be some changes as well.
“My goal coming into next year, we’re going to focus on playing hard, control the things we can control,” he said. “Wherever the ball falls, it falls. I talked to the girls; we’re going to take it one game at a time to get that Holtville tradition back and the great program it’s been. When there’s more energy, it changes, and hopefully the girls react well to it. We wan to get this program back on top, back to a regional final, state tournament caliber team.”
With most of last season’s team returning and the familiarity between him and the players, Otwell’s expectations for his first year as Holtville’s head coach are high.
“I think going into last year, we had a lot of injuries, some key players got hurt,” Otwell said. “Next year, we have three seniors, a great senior group. As the new coach, it’s a great three girls to start with. I have big expectations, we have young girls coming back. We’ll be young again, but I think the sky’s the limit. Yes, they’re young, but they play hard. I’m excited, we got a good group coming back.”