Jeff Scott is BD’s new varsity softball coach

Mickey Alvarado

Britton Deerfield varsity softball team — Row one (l-r), Laura Reau, Olivia Warner and Sydney Faust. Row two, assistant coach Emilee Bruwer, Jozilea Scott, Blake Southward, Jackilyn Gotz and Brittany Ost. Row three, assistant coach Lani Ernst, Kelli Sweinhagen, Abbey Meinert, Ella Nighswander, Megan Wielfaert, Hanna Alcock and coach Jeff Scott. Photo by Mickey Alvarado.

Jeff Scott has been a varsity assistant for Britton Deerfield  (BD) football, the head varsity coach for boys golf and girls basketball, and has now moved into the girls softball program as the head varsity coach this season, replacing Leslie Tanis.
“I love coaching,” Scott said. “I love kids. I teach kindergarten here. I just love it. I don’t ever want it to end.”
Twenty-four girls went out for softball giving BD an opportunity to have both junior varsity and varsity teams.
“We’re able to have two solid teams. One of eleven and one of thirteen,” said Scott, noting he will possibly pull players up from the JV team if needed during he season.
The team will rely on returning senior Abbey Meinert as the main pitcher and will also use freshman pitcher Hanna Alcock as a key backup. Scott expects Alcock will be used as the JV’s main pitcher.
“The future’s looking bright,” Scott said of the softball program.
He feels he has a solid infield. He’s moved up a couple players from last year’s JV team with sophomore Jozilea Scott expected to be a “ferocious hitter,” for the Patriots, and a freshman, Olivia Warner, who Scott said had been “Lights out at tryouts.” Scott said the team had a numbering system where each player was evaluated and Warner stood out in the group. “She’s going to be a utility-type player and be anywhere I need her, and could be a back-up pitcher,” Scott said. “I’m optimistic my first year here. I haven’t even seen the stats or cared about them or the records from the past. It’s a new year. It’s a new team.”
Returning junior Kelli Sweinhagen is being considered for the catching position. However, Scott noted he’s only been working with the team for three days, so he has yet to solidify all of the player positions.
Returning senior Ella Nighswander is expected to cover first base. Scott said, “She looks like she can control the field and that’s what I want out of a first baseman.”
Also returning is senior Laura Reau, who played shortstop last season, and senior Jackilyn Gotz.
In the outfield will be returning juniors Sydney Foust and Blake Southward.
Senior Megan Wielfaert returns after a couple of seasons. “She hasn’t played since her freshman year, so I didn’t know what to expect,” said Scott. “But I’ll tell you what, the eye and hand coordination is there. She’s an athlete and will be just fine.”
He said his philosophy is to go about the game offensively like there are already two outs. “If I get a girl on first base, we are going to get her to second base somehow, someway,” said Scott.
He said he would also make changes to how the team responds defensively and expects this to be a building year.
His new JV coach, Lani Ernst, was a four-year player at the University of Toledo. “She has a wealth of knowledge she brings with her,” said Scott.


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