Straub steps down from Lady Eagle gig
After taking Lanesville to two appearances at the Class A state softball finals, Lady Eagles coach Kayla Straub has resigned her position as head coach after four seasons.
Straub, who compiled a 67-34 (66 percent) career record, left the position to further her education after being accepted into the Kent School of Social Work at the University of Louisville.
‘I planned on continuing to coach (this season), but the only barrier that would have kept me from doing that would be my class schedule,’ Straub said. She is in the process of being accepted into the Public Child Welfare Certification Program through the state of Kentucky which meant she would have to finish her degree in three semesters. Her classes wouldn’t end until the late afternoon, not allowing her to attend several practices or games.
When Straub took over the softball program in 2004, Lanesville hadn’t won a section title in any sport for seven years, a regional in 19 years or made an appearance at state in any team sport.
Straub guided the softball team to three straight sectional titles, two regional titles and two appearances at the state finals. In 2006, the Eagles reached the championship game, but fell to Whiting 3-0 to become state runners-up. Among the players on that team, stand-out Allison Horton reached more than 1,000 career strikeouts and currently plays at Campbellsville College in Kentucky.
When Straub arrived, her staff introduced several new drills and plays that the players quickly embraced.
‘Every year, from the time I started coaching, we had progressed,’ Straub said. ‘Every year, there was progression. Even last year when our record was not like the years before, many of the girls that were returners had improved so much. Last year was a rebuilding year, and we had many freshmen that had to step up in some critical times. This year, I have no doubt that it will be a great year for the Eagles with many returners and some great incoming freshmen.’
The successful attitude brought the community close together.
‘I think that winning attitude was contagious and helped show our other teams that Lanesville could be successful,’ Lanesville athletic director Matt Kellems said. ‘So I not only credit Kayla with bringing a winning attitude to the softball program but to our school as a whole.’
Her fondest memory?
‘When Brittany Mix got hit in the face in the Regional final and when we went to state that same year,’ Straub said. ‘I was so nervous because all of Lanesville and Harrison County seemed to be there. There was purple everywhere. Lanesville is great when it comes to supporting their kids.’
In the four years she was at the helm of the program, she collected three Southern Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors (2004, ’05, ’06) and two SAC titles (’05, ’06).
‘We really hate to see Kayla leave,’ Kellems added. ‘She was truly an asset to Lanesville schools.’
Straub played high school softball for Corydon Central and college softball at Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky. Due to her love of the sports, expect Straub to be back in the coaching box soon.
‘I get kind of choked up every time I think about not being able to be at the ball field,’ she said. ‘I am actually thinking about getting into counseling in the school system, so I would definitely be able to do two things I enjoy.’
Straub said she was appreciative that the school and community trusted such a young coach.
Kellems said the school is currently accepting applications for the vacant position and will likely start the interviewing process in early January.