BLANCHARD — Montabella’s softball team will have their third coach in four years next season.
Whisper Dawson will take over for Chara Nisonger in 2015. She will be the third coach of the Mustangs in the last four years.
Dawson comes to the varsity program after being the JV coach last year. The JV Mustangs were 6-8, having multiple games canceled due to weather.
Dawson has aspirations for Montabella softball.
“I want to build a softball program there,” she said. “I went to high school in Reed City and I knew they (Montabella) were really good. I’m a teacher there (at Montabella) and I want to build a program.”
Dawson will use “a lot” of the things she learned at Reed City and college softball, she said.
“I also played in college so I have a lot of knowledge built up,” she said. “I caught in college, so that’s a huge part of the game. If they’re the leader on the field it’s a nice way to start building the team. I had some great coaches in college and high school and knowing what I wanted to do (coaching) that helped.”
Dawson knows she has work to do to get the Mustangs program back on track.
“We really have a young team,” she said. “We’re not going to have one starting senior returning. From there a lot of them will be sophomores coming in. Both of our pitchers are sophomores so they will have a learning experience. I know going into this year it will be a rebuilding year. But the sophomore group has the drive. I had most of them on JV last year.”
The long-term plan for Montabella will be to build a youth program.
“We need a youth program,” she said. “We need people that are starting young. We need the programs that are young. I had girls from the middle school to Mount Pleasant this year. That was an eye-opening opportunity. I’m starting the freshmen into a serious level.”
Short-term, though, Dawson thinks Montabella will improve on last year’s record.
“But in the same time there will be some teams (in the Mid-State Activities Conference) that will be on the downside,” she said. “Coleman is a little down this year. I think we’ll be in the middle of the pack this year.”
Nisonger did not return an email request for comment on her reason for resigning.