The People’s Tribune

Coach Deters Is Ready for Softball

Picture provided by Gabi Deters

by Brice Chandler | Editor

As the new school year approaches, teams from across the area are hitting the fields in preparation for another season of softball.

It’s a familiar setting for both players and coaches.

For Gabi Deters, it’s both familiar and still different. Different home fields, team uniforms, and most notably, a different role.

The two-time state champion for the Bowling Green Lady Cats now shifts into the role of Head Coach after playing in the SEC with the University of Missouri.

For Gabi, the move brings her back nearly full circle to Pike County where her softball career began. And although not planned, becoming a head coach is a job she once dreamed of.  

“I have always wanted to be a head softball coach at a small high school like the one I am from,” she told the Tribune. “The job came out of nowhere. I was technically not looking for the coaching position since I was finishing my last year of college. I thought, once finished, I would start looking for my dream job but I ended up finding it sooner than I thought.”

The timing couldn’t be better. 

She joins another veteran of Bowling Green’s back-to-back Class 2 championships at Clopton. Former Bowling Green softball Head Coach Dean Streed also takes on a new role this year as Clopton’s high school principal.

Another familiarity. 

But Gabi said she wanted the position at Clopton for another reason. A reason that helped propel her to further success in the sport. 

“The main reason I wanted the job at Clopton is the small town feeling and the Clopton girls always have the heart, work ethic, and dedication that I always have had for sports,” she explained. “Those are the girls I want to coach.”

Beyond seeing that drive and fire to excel from the Lady Hawks, there’s another, more meaningful reason for Gabi’s return to Pike County after graduating from Mizzou. The desire to give back to her community. 

Image provided by Gabi Deters

“I have always wanted to be a coach, but I never knew if I wanted to be a high school or college coach until I played college softball,” she continued. “I realized in college that we know most of the fundamentals and skills of softball were girls in high school do not. That’s when I knew I wanted to give back to small-town girls that might not be able to do everything I had the opportunity to do such as travel ball or learn from so many coaches. When I become a high school coach, I’ll be able to teach these girls the things I’ve learned along the way. Hopefully, that will make colleges want to look at small town schools the same as the girls in larger schools.” 

She’s ready for the challenge. 

“I believe my coaching style is very ‘open door policy’. I believe that there are different learners. Working with these girls will allow me to develop relationships and provide different teaching points. I want the girls to ask questions and be open to new things but I want them to know that I am also willing to do anything to help them, whether it’s on or off the field.”

What changes can Lady Hawks fans expect this year?

“There are always changes every incoming coach makes because they want to make it their program” she explained. But she also wants those lessons taught during the program to extend well beyond the diamond. “I want my program to be about the girls as people first and players second. Also with that approach, I want them to know some things they go through in softball, they will have to experience in their everyday lives. Softball is a teacher of life and I hope to teach these girls as much as I can.”

That said, don’t expect Coach Deters to take an easy on the Clopton ladies. She’s already looking at the overall picture and building a winning future for the school.

“A big area I want to work on with the Lady Hawks is their hitting approach and softball IQ,” she said. “I believe we have a lot of good hitters that just need a little one-on-one time to become consistent hitters. I also believe to be a good softball player you need to know all the terminology when it comes to playing, how to make quick decisions, and trust the skill set that comes from having that softball IQ. This year’s team is going to be a very important group of girls to get Clopton softball back on the map and a program to be afraid of.” 

According to Gabi, she’s always wanted to return to the area and could not be happier.

“I have always wanted to give back to small towns that do not always get the same advantages that cities get when it comes to the knowledge of sports and the resources that they have in larger towns. I am excited about this year and what is to come for this group to come and the girls below them. They are going to be a special group and a group that I will always remember and lastly GO HAWKS!”

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