There’s a new rivalry in Forsyth County, albeit a friendly rivalry.
Maci Fletcher was hired last week to lead West Forsyth’s softball program, and when the Wolverines face Forsyth Central this fall, Fletcher will coach against her former teammate at Valdosta State, Kelly Gordon.
“She found out I got the job and she was one of the first people to call me,” Fletcher said. “She was actually my catcher. We came into college together. We’ve known each other for a while now, both on and off the field, so we’re both super excited for this competition. Our comment to each other was, ‘See you on the field.’”
Fletcher will replace longtime coach Justin Rickett, who was hired earlier this month as Dawson County High School’s softball coach.
Fletcher played under Rickett at West before graduating in 2013. She spent the past three years as an assistant coach with the Wolverines, primarily tasked with developing pitchers and catchers.
“I’m super excited. You know, I graduated from West, so this is a full circle,” Fletcher said. “I’ve always dreamed about being a softball head coach. Now to be able to do it at my alma mater is a big deal, so I’m super excited and hope to represent West well.”
Fletcher was a three-time Academic All-American at Valdosta State, helping the Blazers to a 176-57-2 record from 2014-17.
West will graduate a couple of key seniors in Olivia Finamore and Caroline Hayes, but the Wolverines return a solid group of upperclassmen in rising senior Grace Mangan [.391 avg., 33 runs, .540 OBP, 31 stolen bases] and rising juniors Abby Williams [.405 avg., 20 RBIs], Emily Brown [.321 avg., 24 RBIs] and Lindleigh Cole [.358 avg., 29 runs, .494 OBP].
West finished fourth in Region 6-7A play in 2020, compiling a 10-21 record and falling to Archer in the first round of the Class 7A playoffs.
“I think we’ve got a good group,” Fletcher said. “We lost a few seniors, but we’ve got a pretty big senior group. I’m excited to see the talent we have coming up from middle school to high school this upcoming year. I’m hoping for some good stuff – some positive energy coming through the program.”