Jun. 4—Kaylah Hall has only been the new Brunswick High softball coach for a few weeks but already has high hopes for the upcoming season.
Hall is moving from West Palm Beach, Fla., to Brunswick and will be here permanently on June 18.
The Auburn graduate started her teaching and head coaching career about four years ago but also helped out with some travel ball teams as an assistant for the last seven or so years.
Her parents are retiring to St. Simons Island, so she decided to move a little closer to them after being homesick in south Florida.
Initially hired on as an ELA teacher, once the position to coach softball came available, she jumped at the opportunity.
“I immediately reached out to Mr. Turner, and I was like, ‘Hey, I really have a passion for coaching, and I would love this opportunity.’ Then I got the interview with him and Steve Waters,” Hall said. “I guess my passion just bled through, and here I am, and now I’m here in Brunswick. My family is actually moving to St. Simons next March, so it’ll be a long-term move for me, which I think the program needs is that long-term person in there.”
A sense of community is important to Hall, and since she took the job at Brunswick, she’s felt it here in the Golden Isles.
“I come up there every weekend now for practices with the girls, and so I’ve got to meet the girls,” Hall said. “I’ve worked with Heather Wells, who runs a lot of the travel ball stuff in the area. I’ve been working with Tiffany Brain, who runs the little league. The thing that intrigues me the most that’s a little bit different from where I’m at down here is that sense of community.
“I grew up in a small town — Auburn University. Despite it being a university, it’s a small town, and West Palm Beach is huge, so that sense of community often gets lost here. Whenever I started meeting all of these different people, I was just thrilled to be able to work with them. Then I met the girls — they have so much passion. They’re hungry. I can say this about Brunswick High’s softball girls is they’re ready. They have not disappointed me yet.”
Hall said she had 30 girls show up during her first meet and greet and she was shocked. Then when she held tryouts, all 30 showed up again, so that told her they were excited to work with her.
“I’m so impressed with them as a whole — just the dedication,” Hall said. “You’re only as strong as your weakest player, and I’ve got 30 girls showing up to optional practices every day. I have girls showing up to my cages when I’m not even there to take swings because they want to play for me, and they’re hungry. I can’t say enough about the team as a whole about how proud I am of these girls to show that dedication to me and that passion.”
During her softball career, she played catcher and also third base when needed. So when she was searching for assistant coaches, Hall said she wanted to make sure that they had experience in each aspect.
“I love to focus on the head game of the catching and the middle infield. That’s where I shine. Then I have Raven Riggs. She’s a beast when it comes to the outfielders and getting them ready,” Hall said. “She just has been just going already, and it’s such a beautiful thing to watch. Then on for the summer, I have Callie Bartholomew, who’s amazing. She’s been working with the pitchers and the catchers for me. We’ll see if she’s going to come on and stay with us for the whole season.”
Hall said she’s also worked closely with Coastal Georgia’s coach Mike Minick trying to get him involved. Her final assistant is coming with her from West Palm Beach, Linda Cruz, to help coach the offensive side of things.
“Her swing is is amazing, and she really works hard with the girls,” Hall said. “Every coach just brings a different piece to the puzzle, just like each of our girls is bringing different things to us. We have a coach for everything. Their passion and then our knowledge, I think together, is just going to be such a beautiful marriage and such a wonderful thing to watch over the next couple of years.”