By Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal
NETTLETON – Nettleton fastpitch coach Chris Kidd is stepping down. Kidd, in his fifth season at the school is leaving for a job in administration at Hatley.
He has directed the Lady Tigers to two Class 3A state fastpitch championships and is 102-22 after Thursday night’s 10-0 win against Water Valley.
“The last five years coaching with this guy, he demands excellence,” said assistant coach Dana Rhea. “Coach Kidd is one of those guys, no matter what he does, he’s going to do it right. He’s going to be a winner. I’ve been blessed as a coach to be a part of that. As a coach I’ve learned a lot from him.”
Rhea was at Nettleton for seven years and filled the same role before Kidd got there. Kidd’s hiring freed Rhea up to coach slowpitch and until two seasons ago, girls basketball as well.
Kidd spent 11 years coaching at Ingomar.
“I was very blessed when I got the opportunity to be here. It’s been just an awesome experience and the good Lord has blessed me and my family to give us an opportunity to be here,” said Kidd. “Regardless of the wins, people have treated us like we were part of them since the day we walked in here and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
Michele Hester, Jessi Patterson and Hayley Parker, an Amory transfer the same season Kidd arrived from Ingomar, are graduating this season. The three have been keys cogs in A half decade that put Nettleton on the top of the Class 3A softball radar.
Makenzie Hawkins and Korie Beth Leach are the only two juniors on the 2011 team, two more integral parts of the winning tradition.
“The expectations are high and coming in here and having a chance to be part of that, it’s just a very special thing,” Kidd said. “The group graduating now, they’ve been a part of that since I’ve been here. They expect a lot out of each other.”
Kidd’s son Brock will be able to start junior high baseball next season, something Kidd doesn’t want to miss out on and 16 years in the coaching business has left little home time.
“This is going to be an opportunity to be with my family a little bit more,” Kidd said. “I’ve been moving around and doing a lot for 16 and-a-half-years and I think I’m ready to go on to the next step.”
Kidd was honored by Nettleton Thursday night after it was announced that he was named the 2009-10 Mississippi High School Activities Association’s Softball Coach of the Year.
“I hope that his next step, I hope he gets everything he wants out of it because he’s going to be a good one,” Rhea said. “He just one of those guys, whatever he does he’s going to be good at it. He’s an awesome guy.”