New ECHS coach settles in

Published 12:19 pm Monday, February 7, 2011

Escambia County’s new head softball coach is hoping his extensive experience with baseball helps him in his first year leading the Lady Blue Devils.

Twenty two-year-old Daryl Otwell has taken the reins of the softball program following the tragic death of William Casaday in November of last year.

Otwell, who is in his first head coaching position, said he is ready to take on the role for the Lady Blue Devils.

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“I heard there was an opening here and I went to coach Heaton and introduced myself and said I was interested in coaching,” Otwell said. “I explained I wanted to be a part of his staff and learn from him and told him I would like to coach the softball team.”

Otwell is a native of Hokes Bluff in northern Alabama where he played on four state championship baseball teams at Hokes Bluff High School before taking his talents to Troy University where he played four years for the Trojans.

The new coach said that there are some new things he hopes to bring with his experience as well as keep some things that Casaday did intact.

“Since the team began practicing on Jan. 31, I have incorporated a weightlifting program and several of the things we do involved things I learned at Troy,” he said. “I am also expressing to the girls to always be on time for class and do things appropriate at school. There will be a contract they have to sign that will express these things. I want this program to be by Mr. (Zickeyous) Byrd’s standards. I also know there are a lot of girls that have played before and they have been through a lot in the last few months. I understand it has been hard on them, so I’m also keeping some things the way coach Casaday had them.”

With the season just a few weeks away, Otwell has one goal for his team this season.

He said he wants them to keep a good attitude at all times.

“Our overall goal is to keep the team positive and make sure they enjoy themselves,” Otwell said.