After finishing second at state last year, Jessica Cross resigns as head coach due to family reasons

PHOTO COURTESY OF JEREMY PUCKETT - Jeremy Puckett takes over as the CCHS head softball coach for the upcoming season. Puckett replaces Jessica Cross, who resigned earlier this fall. Cross, who led the Cowgirls to a league championship and a second-place tournament at state, resigned because she is expecting a child, which is due the second week of the softball season. 
Crook County High School Athletic Director Rob Bonner recently announced that Jeremy Puckett has been named the school's new head softball coach.

Puckett has not coached high school softball before, but has a long history coaching age-group teams.

Most recently, Puckett has been the director of the YellowJackets, a group of Central Oregon age group American Softball Association teams.

The YellowJackets had unprecedented success last summer, winning the 16U state championship.

Puckett replaces Jessica Cross, who resigned earlier this fall.

Cross guided the Cowgirls to their most successful season ever a year ago, as the team won the Tri-Valley Conference championship and went on to finish second at the state tournament.

"I just want to carry on the success that Jessica and her coaching staff has built there," Puckett said. "I think that they have done a great job, and I just want to continue on, doing what they have been doing and bring in some new ideas as well."

Cross said that the decision to resign was difficult.

"I'm pregnant, and I'm due the second week of the season," Cross said. "I want to make sure that this transition is as smooth as possible. That's really important to me that the success continues in the program, and I want to do what I can to help."

Puckett said that he is excited about the opportunity and is thrilled that Cross has remained involved with the program.

"I just really want to thank Jessica a bunch," he said. "She's really been there and helped me out a bunch, and I definitely want her to get the credit that she deserves. She has been there at open gym workouts and has helped with the transition for sure."

Puckett is known for having teams that score a lot of runs, and he expects that to continue at CCHS.

"That's definitely probably my area of expertise," he said. "The girls that are coming out are really a talented bunch. It's going to be great to coach such a talented hard-working group of girls. And I think their offense is going to put up a lot of runs."

Puckett added that longtime assistant coach and former head coach Gary White is going to continue with the program.

In addition, recent Walla Walla Community College graduate Erin Weir has been added to the coaching staff.

Cross said that she also intends to help out with the program in any way possible.

"I want to do whatever I can to help out, at least this year," she said. "After this year, I will see where life takes me. With the addition to my family, it might change things."

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