The text message came on May 16th. It came from Dierks head softball coach Brad Bray. The message was brief but an exciting one nonetheless for one of Mansfield’s youngest coaches on staff.
The contents of the message basically explained that Lady Tiger softball coach Savanna Jacobs was selected to be on staff at the 16th Annual Sophomore and Junior Classic. What that means is Jacobs will serve as an assistant coach for the Arkansas High School Fast Pitch Association’s showcase softball series.
The two day event allows selected athletes from across the state to develop their skills and be seen in the company of college scouts. High School coaches from a wide array of AAA affiliated schools will mentor the young players.
Started over a decade and a half ago, the two day event typically gathers players from classes 1A through 7A and divides them into 8 teams. The exclusive list of sophomores and juniors are placed under the leadership of designated coaches. From there, the teams practice for a day before competing in live action games the next.
Jacobs is in her first year as the MHS softball head coach. During the 2017 season, the coach took her Lady Tigers to the second round of the class 3A state tournament.
“I have been selected to be an assistant coach for this event held in Conway June 12-13th,” wrote Jacobs in an information email to Mansfield administrators. “This is a great honor. It is a showcase for the top athletes around the state that are currently sophomores and juniors.”
Jacobs also informed her bosses that she has nominated a few Mansfield girls to participate in the endeavor. As of press time, she had not heard if any of the Lady Tiger softball underclassmen were selected.
Coach Jacobs was once a player in the AHSFPA Sophomore and Junior Classic. Under the tutelage of one time Mansfield coach Michael Freeman, the 2010 Mansfield graduate played in the showcase games her penultimate high school season.
Details of the 2017 Classic are still coming in at this time. From all indications, the AHSFPA tournament will once again be played at Hendrix College Stadium.
EDIT – 05/25/2017
Sophomore, Riley Schoell who plays Outfield for the Lady Tigers was also selected to play under Jacobs in the 16th Annual Sophomore and Junior Classic. Congrats Riley!