By Zach Sparks
Havenwood Girls Softball President David Farley still remembers the first conversation he had with Jesse Burroughs in 2010.
“He asked about the program and said he had three daughters and planned to be around for a long time,” Farley recalled. “I was a little apprehensive since I have heard those types of statements from parents before. Now, close to 10 years later, it is undeniable that Jesse has played a major role in Havenwood’s success.”
Burroughs is currently the vice president of operations for the club. “That just means doing a little bit of everything, from maintaining fields to handling team issues to organizing special events,” Burroughs said.
His work doesn’t stop with maintaining Havenwood Softball’s nine fields or with fielding concerns from coaches and parents. This season, he was the head coach for two teams and assistant coach for two teams.
As a coach, he has a specific philosophy.
“There are two kinds of coaches,” Burroughs said. “One coach focuses on, ‘Let’s have fun and maybe we will learn something along the way.’ Another coach says, ‘Let’s learn these things, and by learning the fundamentals, you will have fun from having success.’ I’m the second coach. The girls need to have fun and enjoy it, but I want them to get that education.”
Watching the girls improve their batting, pitching, fielding and base-running skills is the most rewarding part of the job. “It’s a great sport,” Burroughs said. “It’s a growing sport.”
With 250 to 300 girls each year at different levels, Havenwood Girls Softball is one of the biggest programs of its kind in the region, Burroughs said.
“We’re not an umbrella organization; we focus on just softball,” he noted. “And we’re doing more stuff than just games and practices. We have a hit-a-thon to raise money for the program and we have a day at Oriole Park.”
None of that would be possible without volunteers. “Jesse does not come to the fields alone,” Farley said. “The support of Jesse and his amazing family is felt throughout Havenwood.”
Although he always dreamed of coaching baseball, Burroughs is right at home with Havenwood Girls Softball, where he continues to make good on a statement he made to Farley 10 years ago.
“If something needs to be done and done right, Jesse is almost always involved,” Farley said.
For more information about the program, visit www.havenwoodgirlssoftball.org.
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