The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

August 4, 2013

Simpson steps up for Warriors

Girls track coach takes over tennis program

Admittedly, track will always be Beth Simpson’s first love.

The Edgewood girls track and field coach, doesn’t pretend that she feels as passionately about other sports as she does about track.

But, Simpson was the Warriors assistant girls tennis coach last year and when Beth Williams was unable to stay on as coach this season, Simpson stepped up and accepted the position.

“My dad (Dave Simpson) coached tennis at Conneaut for 25 years, I know how to play tennis and have played it throughout my life,” Simpson said. “It’s not my passion like track is but Beth Williams, who was the coach last year, had a baby who is five months old because of that she wasn’t able to do it again this year. So the job was posted and I was approached about it taking from (athletic director) Steve (Kray).”

While Simpson might not know tennis the way she knows track, the thought of not stepping up when the program was in need of a coach was the ultimate motivating tool in her desire to step into the head coaching realm for tennis.

“Ultimately I took the job because I couldn’t stomach the thought that the girls wouldn’t get to play this season because they didn’t have a coach,” she said. “So despite my lack of experience (with tennis) and busy schedule I decided I had to help out.”

While Simpson has some familiarity with her players as an assistant last year, much of what the Warriors do on the courts this year will be new due to the loss of four seniors from last season’s squad.

Still, Simpson likes some of the youth the roster offers.

“We start practice on Monday so we’ll see shows up and where they are,” she said. “I know there have been some coming and hitting on their own which is fantastic because we lost four seniors. When you’re only fielding nine players, that’s half of your varsity squad.

“But, our MIP (most improved player) Allison Massaro is back as a junior. So that’s exciting, she ended the season playing some strong tennis. We also have Bronte Adams, who was a freshman last year and is a very competitive and intelligent young lady. She’s got a lot of potential as a sophomore so I’m looking for her to start strong this year. It’ll be a young team but it has some good talent.”

With just one year of coaching tennis under her belt, Simpson admits her biggest hurdle this season will be experience.

“The biggest challenge will definitely be my experience with tennis,” she said. “I’ve done the administrative stuff with track, but just the particular experience with the minutia of tennis will be my adjustment this year. I’ve been in contact with Beth Williams and she’s definitely interested in helping and coming back to some practices.

“She had some guest coaches this last year come in so I’m getting in touch with them so they can come in and share their experience and wisdom with the girls, too.”

While all those potential influences will help, Simpson said there will be no better source of knowledge than her father.

“I played for my dad in seventh grade and last year when I told him I was going to be an assistant tennis coach he just laughed,” she said. “He walked into his den and handed me a stack of books, materials, articles he’d cut out, this binder full of information he’s collected over the years. Of course he’s a really good resource and a good guy that if I need something I can say, ‘hey dad, I’ve got a question.’ He has that experience that I’m currently lacking so he’s a fantastic resource.

“Tennis is something he loves doing and he’ll help with information and ideas even though I’m at Edgewood.”

While gaining more experience is something Simpson said she knows she has to do, she is looking forward to the personal interaction she’ll get to have with her players, something that can be harder in bigger team sports such as track.

“There’s something about tennis, that small group of girls where if you’re traveling I drive the van and it’s just me and the girls, it’s kind of cool in the way a small town has that comfortable feel, it’s like that,” she said. “There’s a ton of girls in the other sports and I don’t get to have that interaction time with every single one of them. You get that special feeling, that bonding time when you’re traveling and in the van spending time together.”

Evidently, those players returning from last season enjoyed having Simpson around, as well.

“The girls are so funny, they came up to me and kept saying, ‘are you going to coach? You gotta coach!” she said. “You get to hang out with them so much and they’re good kids and just really nice girls who enjoy playing.”

Simpson said those personalities, as well as the opportunity to coach more of the young talent she feels is at Edgewood is something she’s looking forward to this fall.

“I really enjoy coaching and seeing them improve and there is just so much young talent at Edgewood right now,” she said. “I really want to turn that talent into something successful and I hope we can do that with tennis, too.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • BB1 Walk on the wild side

    Going into the bottom of the third inning Tuesday, things were looking pretty good for the Madison Blue Streaks at Edgewood.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rick Peck A Rich Kelly column: Rick Peck... his legacy born at CLA

    We all leave a legacy of our persona as we pass from this world to whatever the future holds for us.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • BB2 Scholastic Statistics:

    BASEBALL
    NON-CONFERENCE
    Edgewood 14, Madison 3
    at Higgins Field, Edgewood

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Area High School Softball Statistical Leaders:

    INDIVIDUAL BATTING (minimum 15 at-bats)
    PLAYER    SCHOOL    AVG    OB%    SLG%    AB    R    H    2B    3B    HR    RBI    SB
    Brittany Baitt    Riverside    .645    .667    .806    31    11    20    3    1    0    8    0
    Cassidy DiFranco    Riverside    .588    .632    .647    17    7    10    1    0    0    0    0
    Alyssa Chadwick    Conneaut    .563    .630    .625    32    12    18    2    1    0    6    5
    Alyssa Irons    Jefferson    .526    .526    .632    19    5    10    0    1    0    9    2

    April 23, 2014

  • Scholastic Schedule:

    WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23
    Baseball

    Niles McKinley at Lakeside (4:30)
    Bloomfield at Conneaut (4:30)
    Maplewood at Grand Valley (4:30)
    Riverside at Edgewood (4:30)
    PV at Mathews (4:30)
    Orange at Perry (4:30)

    April 23, 2014

  • Tribe Royals crown Wahoos to split first two games

    The concerns about Indians starter Danny Salazar continue to grow.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Edgewood SB Warriors whack Struthers

    Edgewood softball coach Steve Cunha’s main focus for the season centers on his team playing well in the All-American conference. In their inaugural season as part of the AAC, the Warriors continued their strong start by defeating visiting Struthers, 8-2, on Monday afternoon.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Falcons go the extra Niles

    Jefferson coach Scott Barber knows good things usually happen when you put the ball in play and put pressure on the opposing team’s defense.

    April 22, 2014

  • Emotional rescue

    Three Ashtabula area runners joined 36,000 of their closest friends Monday during the 118th rendition of the Boston Marathon.

    April 22, 2014

  • Spartans stymied

    Ursuline pitcher Makayla Shore freely admitted she didn’t quite have her best stuff against Conneaut on Monday at Skippon Park. Despite that fact, the hurler tossed a no-hitter to beat the Spartans, 10-0.

    April 22, 2014

Sports Week in Review April 14 to 19
Sports Week in Review April 7-12
Spring Sports Practice in Ashtabula County
2014 AP BB Tourney Top 25
2014 AP BB Tourney Scoreboard
2014 AP BB Tourney News
2014 AP BB Tourney Photos
Star Beacon-Ed Batanian Senior Classic
Girls Regional Basketball Action
Week of Champions
Sports Week in Review February 21, 22
Grand Valley at Edgewood Boys Basketball
Sports Week in Review Feb. 3 to 8
Sports Week in Review January 30 to Feb. 1
Sports Week in Review January 13-18
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video