New field, new era of coaching

A new beginning. Photo courtesy FAMU Athletics

Despite the ongoing pandemic the Rattlers will start a new chapter in their book, this upcoming 2021 season.

The Florida A & M Softball field has been remodeled and built. Not only will the Rattlers be entering this season with a new field but also a new coach.

Former Head Coach Veronica Wiggins who has coached the Rattlers for 30 years, (1990-2020) stepped down and has been replaced by Constance Orr.

Wiggins won 13 MEAC softball championships, 13-time outstanding MEAC tournament coach, and MEAC coach of the year five times. Wiggins also made 11 NCAA postseason appearances and eight NCAA Regional Appearances.

Coach Orr will have some big shoes to fill with Wiggins stepping down, however, players like infielder Kaylin Rhone are excited for the new coach and field.

“I am excited for Coach Orr as the new head I know that she will do great things with the team and provide us with all the tools, as she’s previously done. I feel like the new field looks nice, I think it’s going to take some time to adjust going from clay to turf. But I think it’s an upgrade that was definitely needed,” Rhone said.

Rhone also expressed her thoughts on how she believes the new coach will handle her duties.

“Her approach expects us to get the job done in the best way you can while giving 100% effort. Also, my team holds the upmost respect for her as we did Coach Wiggins.”

Due to the ongoing coronavirus fall sports have been postponed until next spring. The season will be different, as there will be a lot of protocols, rules and regulations in place to keep everyone safe.

“I feel as if the season is going to be different, the virus is going to interrupt traveling and our schedules are also being changed every single day. I’m excited for the season of course but the changes are scary and unpredictable,” Rhone said.

Rhone continued “I feel a little nervous knowing that my teammates and I take the virus very seriously and maybe others don’t. I just pray that everyone stays as safe as possible we are taking all the necessary precautions as far as getting tested regularly and social distancing.”

Last season Rhone had 3 hits, 3 stolen bases, 2 putouts, and 2 runs batted in. Instead of focusing on her stats this upcoming season, she has a different goal set in mind.

“I plan on stepping up as a senior and taking on more of a leadership role alongside of my other senior teammates,” Rhone said.