Meridian Star


May 24, 2014

Quitman hires Banes as head softball coach

QUITMAN — QUITMAN — The Quitman High School softball team has its man.

Michael Banes, formerly of Bay Springs High School, has agreed to take over the reins as head softball coach for the Lady Panthers after the departure of former coach Thad George.

Banes comes to Quitman after serving as an assistant baseball and football coach for the Bulldogs.

“It’s a good school,” Banes said of Quitman. “The program there has a lot of tradition .I spoke with principal (Michael) McDonald and (athletics director Steve) Hampton before, but things didn’t work out. This time around, it worked out that I could come over there and take the job.”

Banes brings an upbeat, grinding style of play to the Panthers in the hopes of improving on a 9-12 record and a 3-5 Class 5-4A record.

“Whatever you put in, that’s what you get out,” Banes said. “You have to work hard and have to put in the effort that is required every day. It doesn’t just happen; you have to give 100 percent. Everybody has to give their all, all the time.”

Banes will have a number of starters returning off of last year’s squad, including pitcher Abigail Tommey, who sported a 3.30 earned run average in 104 innings in 2014.

“We have five starters coming back,” Banes said. “It’s important to have that starting pitcher returning.”

Banes brings a plethora of experience to the table, having previously served as the head slow-pitch coach at Richton High School, piecing together back-to-back playoff appearances. Also, Banes led the Richton baseball team to playoff appearances, which include reaching the third round of the playoffs, in his two seasons as head man.  

Additionally, he served as an assistant coach for the Enterprise-Clarke High School football team in which the Bulldogs claimed South State championship honors.

Banes intends on hitting the ground running with practice scheduled to begin in two weeks, and evaluation of his players and staff in the months to come.

“We’ll start working out June 2,” Banes said. “We have 14 games scheduled for this summer, so we’ll be together throughout the summer and getting ready for the year. We’re going to have a good chance to evaluate what everyone can do and be able to put them in a position to be successful.”

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