Calhoun High School head softball coach Diane Smith is different.
It is 5-A Region 7 time for the Lady Jackets. And most coaches will defer when asked about the other team’s in their league.
Oh anyone but us is going to win this thing, they all usually say. And anyone but us should be even considered the favorite, most of them add.
Sure, a lot of coaches expect their team to be in playoff contention and readily admit that reaching the postseason is the top priority because then anything can happen.
But admitting that their team is the one everyone is chasing is something that just doesn’t happen.
Well, usually doesn’t happen.
“I think we’re the best team in our region. I really do, “ Smith said when asked about the region. “We have some good teams in our region. And I know when teams play us that they’re going to bring their A game. But I truly look at my girls and know that if we play like we can, then I really and truly feel like we’re the best team in the region.”
Smith, who has been coaching the Lady Jackets for 38 years and has her hand on the pulse of Georgia high school softball in not only Northwest Georgia but the entire state, says it very calmly, matter-of-factly and without a hint of cockiness.
Her ballclub is the one to beat from what she can see and she’s not going to fib about it.
And through the first couple of weeks of league play, it’s hard to dispute what she is saying because her team and Blessed Trinity have started to separate themselves from the pack.
And those two teams were scheduled to meet Tuesday but the rainy remnants of Hurricane Ida canceled that game and now those two clubs will meet twice in a five-day span later this month in a pair of games that very likely could decide who does win it.
Going into Thursday night’s Region 7 games, Blessed Trinity was on top of the league and unbeaten at 3-0, but Calhoun was 3-1 and just a half-game back.
After that, none of the other four teams are above .500.
Cartersville stood 2-2 for third place and was just a half-game ahead of Cass, which is 2-3. Woodland has played the most region games and the Wildcats were 2-4 giving them the most region losses while Hiram has really struggled at the start standing 0-2.
The record alone may not sound that bad, but in those two defeats, the Hornets have been outscored 29-1 with Calhoun beating them 17-0 and a 12-1 setback to Woodland.
So the early evidence indicates that Smith does have the best team in the region and she’s not afraid to say so.
In the world of coaches making confessions, that’s pretty rare.