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Flennory named Selma Times-Journal softball coach of year

The Keith High softball team overcame the COVID-19 pandemic  to reach unchartered waters.

Lady Bears coach Towanna Flennory is The Selma Times-Journal softball coach of the year.

“It’s a great feeling to be named coach of the year,” Flennory said. “It’s a testament of the hard work the girls put in.”

Keith High (8-9) won the Area 7, Class 1A championship and went 1-2 in the 1A West Regionals.

When the season began, winning the Area championship and reaching the Regional were not top priority for Flennory.

“The expectation was to get through the season and keep the players safe,” Flennory said. “We never looked at winning the Area championship or reaching Region.”

As time passed, the Lady Bears improved and became a championship team behind senior pitcher and catcher duo, Ieshia Carson and Tanika Smiley, two Selma Times-Journal All Dallas County selections.

The other Keith players, Jashonda Black, Shania Moore,  Lea Kimbrough, Audrey Lumpkin,  Aniya Richardson, Janiya King,  Kia Mathews, Deasia Collins, Tania Hays, Jakira Moseley, and  Jakayla Moore, all stepped up behind Carson and Smiley.

Flennory said assistant coach Jawanna Milhouse played a big role in the Lady Bears’ success.

“I want to thank Jawanna Milhouse,” Flennory said. “She was always there for the kids 100 percent. She volunteered her time to the team.”

Flennory knows the success raised for Keith next year. The Lady Bears lose Smiley and Carson, but the other players will return for another title run.

“Our expectations for next year are blown off the map,” Flennory said. “Ninety percent of the team were seventh, eighth and ninth-graders. The girls are motivated and they telling me, ‘we’ll be back.’ The goal now is to not just reach the Region, but to win the Region.”