Happy Valley announces Buchanan and Hicks as new softball coaches

Published 2:30 pm Friday, January 27, 2023

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By Ron Marvel
Star Correspondent
Happy Valley recently announced that the responsibility of coaching the 2023 Happy Valley Lady Warriors Softball will be navigated by two of their own, and although they have not done softball before they both understand the “Warrior Way” and they both comprehend what it takes to motivate student-athletes. Coaches Hunter Buchanan and Coach Austin Hicks will navigate the Lady Warriors through the 2023 season and both coaches have hit the ground running; filling out their schedule, having meetings with the girls and doing what they can under TSSAA regulations to see that their young team is preparing for the rigors of a season with 25 plus games in it.
Happy Valley Principal Dr. Paul Blair spoke about what Buchanan and Hicks will bring to the table this upcoming year, “they understand and teach the Warrior Way and will enthusiastically teach and coach it and they will make sure our girls are put in a position  to succeed this year.” Both coaches believe they have the talent to compete, “ our extrinsic goal is to compete for a conference championship, I believe our girls think that way as well,” Coach Hicks stated. Both believe first that they have to have a commitment from the complete team in regards to improving daily and preparing with a winning mindset, “my biggest goal is for the girls to improve as the year goes on,” Coach Buchanan stated.
 And although neither coach has done softball before it can’t be understated that they both have many years of coaching experience in both football, baseball and strength and conditioning. Coach Buchanan spent time coaching at Unaka, in both their football and baseball programs and was on staff at ETSU in 2017. Coach Hicks has coached football and has a strong background in exercise science and strength and conditioning. Going into the year, they made sure to pull assistants in that had a softball background. Coach Mike Dorsey former Happy Valley High School Head Softball Coach will bring several years of coaching winning softball with him; he served as the Happy Valley Softball Head Coach for six years and brought a regional birth to the Lady Warriors in 2015. Abby Carver played for Avery County in high school and will help the team with their competitive edge and Natalie Presnell will serve as team manager and help with day-to-day needs and the administrative side.
Both coaches know they have a young team, so they will lean heavily on their senior leaders, and they also want to daily invoke confidence into their young squad. “Our motto for this year will be to “win today; if we can keep that mindset, good things will happen,” Buchanan stated. Coach Hicks also added, “ I hope our girls will buy into the program and further build our community around “Warrior Softball” and give folks a reason to come watch us.” One thing that becomes evident in their conversations in they both desire to see a culture of competition take place, one that will build up the program in the right direction for future years.

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