Some coaches serving as a first-year assistant might have seen enough after enduring a 3-19 record and winless mark of 0-10 in the Two Rivers 3A Conference. But T.J. Tamer not only signed up to return in 2017, he accepted the appointment as the new head coach.
“The reason I took the job is I like a challenge,” Tamer said. “I don’t work at school, but I’m a pastor in the area (Wilson Mills Baptist Church). I have a heart for young people and helping them develop character and grow into young women. I think sports have a lot to offer building teamwork and developing character working through adversity.”
Tamer’s goal is to build brick-by-brick. There aren’t many girls attending Smithfield-Selma that play softball year-round on travel ball teams. There are only 13 players on the varsity with no JV team.
“We’re working on fundamentals and trying to build momentum for the program,” Tamer said. “We only have three seniors out of 17 players, so we’re developing the younger girls so that as the seniors leave we’ll have experienced players that are great young players ready to go.”
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Tamer is encouraged by the team’s progress. The Spartans have already matched last season’s three-win total. Smithfield-Selma suffered a mercy-run rule loss to Western Harnett, but three starters from the lineup were missing from the lineup with illnesses.
“The girls are working hard,” Tamer said. “We didn’t have one of seniors (catcher Mikayla Rabil), but Evie Pinion took over the role and did a great job. We just have to keep working and building.”