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Softball: Edwards steps down as St. Helens head coach

Assistant Miranda Little will take over for the remainder of the season


by: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Miranda Little stands at home plate during practice just before preseason play began. Little will assume the head coaching duties following the resignation of former head coach Jeff Edwards.In a surprise move, the St. Helens Lions are now without their longtime head softball coach. St. Helens Athletics Director Cyndy Miller announced Monday that Jeff Edwards had resigned, effective immediately. In an email, Miller said that Edwards had struggled to balance his coaching duties last season due to a difficult work schedule. Lions' assistant Miranda Little will take over coaching duties for the remainder of the season, with Miller adding that Edwards was confident in Little's ability to head up the team.

Edwards had coached many of the team's members since they were young, and was just beginning to see the group come back together after a few years of playing club across the hill in Hillsboro and Beaverton. He had spoken positively of the team's future over the last few weeks, and made no mention of immediate plans to retire, though he did talk of continuing to support the program financially when he retired “in two or three seasons.”

Though he attended practice, Edwards kept his distance from the team on Friday, April 11, his last day as the coach and the day after his last game, a 3-1 loss to Jesuit. Little ran the majority of the practice, with Edwards standing a stone's throw away near the track, and stepping off to watch the baseball game up the hill.

“We are sorry to lose Coach Edwards but know that this decision was not only an extremely difficult one, but one that was right for him,” said Miller in an email. “He wants to thank all of the NWOC coaches for their support over the last few years and to thank all of the LION fans and volunteers that have supported him and the teams throughout his coaching career. We wish Jeff the best.”

The Lions will participate in their first game with Little as the head coach on Tuesday, April 15 against Sherwood in the Northwest Oregon Conference opener.