In Lee Smoak’s first two seasons at the helm, the Winder-Barrow High School softball team has continued to reach the postseason, but has now gone five years without getting out of the first round of the state playoffs after a trip to the Elite Eight in 2013.

But as Smoak has settled in and gets ready to officially begin year three, he is as confident as ever that his 2019 group has the potential to challenge rival Apalachee and Dacula at the top of the GHSA Region 8-AAAAAA pecking order and make an appearance in Columbus this fall.

“I think what you’ll see is way more team chemistry and better execution, stuff that just doesn’t happen right off the bat,” said Smoak, whose team has been active with an aggressive summer program and will open its regular season Monday, Aug. 5, at Monroe Area.

“This is my first year where I’ve felt really, really good about our senior leadership despite starting a younger lineup. We’ve got a lot of depth and are going to have some players with starting experience having to be more of role players coming off the bench, which is a luxury we just haven’t had in the past.

“The next logical step in our program is to advance in the playoffs, and I think we’ve got the team to do it.”

See more in the July 31 edition of the Barrow News-Journal.

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