After seven years of turning Whitwell High School's softball team into a perennial Class A contender, Grace Pickett has decided it was time to step down from her alma mater.
"I thought about it and prayed about it a lot all year," Pickett said. "And I just felt like I needed to step back and take a break from coaching for a little while. I talked to a lot of people to get advice, and this wasn't an easy decision.
"I'll miss being around the girls on the field and teaching not only softball but about life."
Pickett said she will continue teaching at Whitwell Elementary and remain the assistant for the Lady Tigers' varsity basketball team.
She led the softball program to three state-tournament appearances, including a third-place finish last spring. The Lady Tigers won three region and two district championships under Pickett, a 2000 Whitwell graduate.
"She's rebuilt the program into what it is now," Whitwell principal Josh Holtcamp said. "It's hard to lose her, but I understand her wanting some time away for herself.
"She's a very well-respected member of our faculty, and we'll just move forward to find the best candidate to build on what she's already done here."
Contact Stephen Hargis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6293.
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...