Park hired as new softball coach at Pike

Published 10:26 pm Monday, June 10, 2013

It took about seven years for Allie Park to find her way back to Troy, but when she got the opportunity, she jumped at the chance.

Park was hired as the new head varsity softball coach at Pike Liberal Arts last week, and takes over a Lady Patriot program that reached the AISA state tournament in 2013.

Park, a Troy native and Charles Henderson High School alumnus, spent the previous two seasons at Hooper Academy in Hope Hull, just outside of Montgomery.

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Being a native of Troy, Park said that she is happy to be returning home and able to coach the game she loves.

“There is nothing better if you ask me,” said Park. “Softball is my life, and to be able to teach this great game, and do it in my hometown, is the perfect way to do it. I am very excited about this opportunity.”

Park said the talks between her and former head coach Wayne Grant began while Park was prepping for a game.

“He approached me while I was lining off a ball field, and asked if I had thought about coming to Pike as the head coach,” Park said. “I jumped at the chance to come home. It is just a great place to be.”

Pike Liberal Arts headmaster Ceil Sikes, said that the addition of Park is a good one for the future of girls’ athletics at the school.

“We feel that she will be a great addition to the staff,” Sikes said. “She brings in a lot of experience and knowledge about not only softball, but other sports as well. We are excited to have her.”

Park said that the team has got to practice a couple of times already, and feels that she and the players are excited about the future.

“We didn’t make the state tournament at Hooper this season, so I had the chance to watch Pike in Montgomery this season,” Park said. “We have things to work on, but they are excited about it, and we have a solid foundation to build on for the future.”

Park played softball at Charles Henderson under coaches Steve Haug and Terry Goodson, and was picked as the Defensive Player of the Year for her senior season. She played one year at Central Alabama Community College and three years at Webster University in St. Louis.

Park also mentioned that she owes a lot to former Lady Patriot head coach, and PLAS athletic director, Wayne Grant.

She said that she respects Grant for what he accomplished on the football field and the softball diamond.

“Coach Grant is an amazing coach,” Park said. “He gave me one of the biggest compliments I have ever received a few days ago. He told the girls that I knew softball, like he knew football. That means a lot, because he is one of the best.”