The Arkansas Activities Association recently announced the coaching staffs for the AHSCAA All-Star Softball Game set for June 22 at UCA’s Farris Field, and two area coaches have been selected to participate. Rose Bud’s Scotty Starkey will serve as the head coach of the East, while Quitman’s Stephanie Davis will assist the West.
Starkey, who is a Rose Bud alum and has also spent time coaching football, has taken the Lady Rambler softball program to new heights, which has included three consecutive trips to the Class 3A State Finals from 2016-18 and a state championship win in 2017.
“It’s truly an honor to be selected because I was voted by my peers and fellow coaches,” exclaimed Starkey. It’s a pretty special feeling and I’m really excited about this opportunity I’ve been given and I expect it to be an experience I’ll never forget.”
The Lady Ramblers consistent run began in 2016 when the team went 27-8 with a state runner-up finish to rival Bald Knob in a close 1-0 decision. In 2017, they climbed back to the top of the mountain and redeemed that loss by hoisting the championship trophy, knocking off the Lady Bulldogs 6-4 while finishing 30-5 in the process. Last Saturday, the Lady Ramblers made another trek to the championship finals, falling to Haskell Harmony Grove 4-2 in a nine-inning battle for a 31-2 mark, accumulating two district crowns to go with a regional title and an 88-15 overall record over those three seasons.
“It’s been a blessing and I have been so fortunate to be a part of it,” said Starkey, when asked what it meant for him to be able to coach up a solid group of girls who work hard day in and day out. “I just told all of the girls today that I wouldn’t trade them for any other team. I consider myself lucky to be the head coach of this amazing group of ladies who have really turned this program around and have gotten the community excited about high school softball. Hopefully we can continue to compete for a state title and bring a few more championships home to Rose Bud.”
Davis, a Greenbrier graduate, has served as the head Lady Bulldog for the last two seasons, leading Quitman to their first state championship win in the sport last Friday, also bringing the school their fifth state title overall. Webb’s teams have combined for a 43-9 slate with two district and regional crowns to their name. The Lady Bulldogs avenged a 2017 State Elite Eight loss to Poyen by taking down the Lady Indians 7-4 for the gold in this year’s rematch.
Joining Starkey at the assistant positions include: Sean Gray of 6A finalist Marion, Chris Cope of Cabot, and Jason Hughes of Calico Rock. Teaming up with Davis will be Tracy Nealy of De Queen, who will lead from the head coaching position, Josh Reynolds of Pea Ridge, and Sharla Mathes of Omaha.
“I’m looking forward to getting to work with some other great coaches and getting to coach some of the best players from all over the state before many of them move on to college ball,” said Starkey. “I am very excited about being a part of this in June.”