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|Parish coaches take new jobs|
Parish coaches are being shifted around as Vidalia High assistant baseball coach Gary Paul Parnham is returning to coach the Vidalia Lady Viking softball team, while Eric Richard is taking over as boys basketball coach at Monterey.
Parnham, who assisted with the Viking baseball team the last three years and assists with football, coached the Vidalia softball team from 1997 to 2006. He led the Lady Vikings to the state championship in 2003.
Jeanne Beach assisted Parnham and took over as head coach when Parnham went to baseball, but decided not to coach last season to devote more time to her children.
"They've had some instability and I just wanted to step in for the girls," Parnham said. "Graham (Roberts) took over to help the school out and did a good job. If he decides to go into the coaching profession full time, he's going to be a real good coach."
Parnham will be assisted by Amanda Strickland Wingfield, a former player for Parnham.
"I am very pleased Amanda decided to help," Parnham said. "She is one of the best pitchers to come through Vidalia and basically taught herself to pitch. It will be like having two head coaches."
Vidalia's girls did not make the playoffs last season.
"We've got a good nucleus coming back and we're all excited and ready to get started."
Richard took over as Monterey baseball coach two years ago after the passing of longtime Wolf coach Hank Zizzi in 2007.
Jeffery Odom, who coached the Monterey boys basketball team the past four years, accepted a position at Jena High School.
"I told them I would be glad to do it until they found somebody," said Richard. "I enjoy coaching basketball, I got burned out on it before because of the amount of time you spend on the road. But I enjoy coaching and teaching the game."
Richard said his players have adjusted to the change.
"It's been a pretty smooth transition," he said. "They are still getting acclimated to what I want them to do, but they are willing to learn and working hard."
Richard coached basketball and baseball at Harrisonburg High.
"It's tough because you have a little overlap in January and February, but it can be done," Richard said. "I'm certainly not the only coach in Louisiana who does both. It just means that the kids have to be disciplined and committed to work on their own some. and we've got that here."
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