Nash named Assistant Coach of the Year
Last updated 7/11/2023 at 12:25pm
This has been a great year for softball at Orangefield with the Lady Bobcats winning the district championship and advancing in the state playoffs their furthest in the school's history. Another accolade was achieved this month with assistant softball coach Sarah Nash being selected the Assistant Coach of the Year in Class 3A for Region 5.
The selection as the assistant coach of the year surprised Coach Nash. "I was honestly so shocked. My sister actually nominated me. It just feels really good that she even thought to do that for me and then also to receive it because that means she believes in what I do and what I bring to our program," Nash replied.
Nash's sister Rebekah Ragsdale is the head coach of the Orangefield softball program. The two sisters and their brother Ryan Ragsdale have all followed in the footsteps of their father Randy Ragsdale to be high school coaches.
Rebekah shared some of the high praise she submitted for Sarah in the nomination of her sister for the assistant coach's award. "Coach Nash provides our program with an incredible amount of knowledge and competitiveness. The success of our program over the past six seasons doesn't happen without Coach Nash. I trust her with every aspect of the game and our program," Ragsdale acknowledged.
Coach Ragsdale added, "I have learned so much personally from her, and I would not be the same coach I am today without her. Sarah helps me keep the game fun and definitely provides for a lot of laughs."
There is no sibling rivalry between Sarah and Rebekah. Sarah explained, "Most people joke with us that they could never get along with their sister like working beside them, but not us. It's really cool because I feel like my weaknesses are her strengths and my strengths are her weaknesses, so we work really hard for our girls and we have a lot of fun while doing it too."
Hitting and outfield defense are the primary responsibilities for Nash as an assistant coach for the Lady Bobcats. "Coach Ragsdale honestly gives me a lot of free range with coaching the hitting and outfield. Those are my top two favorite things in the sport," Nash said.
There is another important aspect to her job as an assistant. Sarah explained, "My other job is to keep Rebekah calm in big moments. I would say that is the hardest part of my job. We joked because in the Kountze game this past year I actually got nervous, and Rebekah said she could feel me being nervous, and asked me why I was freaking out because normally it's the opposite."
Orangefield loses two seniors from the excellent squad of this past season Harley Rawls and Rylee Dougay. All the other Lady Bobcats return and should make them contenders for another district title in the coming years.
"It's really cool that we'll have many of these girls for the next three years. It'll be awesome that by the time they're juniors and seniors to see just how productive they are," Nash predicted.
This past season was the sixth year Sarah has worked with the Lady Bobcats as an assistant for her sister. Prior to coming to Orangefield she served as an assistant softball coach in Bridge City for one year.
Nash does work with the outfielders for the Lady Bobcats because that was her primary position in college at San Jacinto Junior College and later at Lamar University. In high school at West Orange-Stark she was a rare left-handed throwing shortstop under her dad Randy Ragsdale.
A curious circumstance is two years ago Orangefield had a left-handed shortstop in Joli Ponfick. Nash remembered, "We just took a page out of Randy Ragsdale's book. Jolie was one of our better fielders, so we said let's just try her at shortstop. Joli did the best she could do there and it worked for us."
It is hard to predict what the future holds for Sarah Nash as a coach, but currently it looks like her future will be in Orangefield. "My future plans are to be a Bobcat. I absolutely love my job, I love who I work with, I love the Orangefield kids, and the community. Now if you ask me in ten years who knows, but at the moment I think this is really special what me and my sister have, and I also just really love Orangefield," Nash concluded.