Former two-time Southland Conference champion Northwestern State baseball outfielder Jeramie Hale, who coached the St. Mary’s baseball team to a state championship, is the new Natchitoches Central High School softball coach.
Hale steps in for Ronnie Abels, who moved back to his Winn Parish roots after a very successful stint leading the Lady Chiefs, who won at least 20 games and made significant playoff runs in each of the last four seasons.
A 21-year coaching veteran, Hale has been on the NCHS faculty and athletic staff for several years, serving on Abels’ staff and previously as an assistant baseball coach, among other roles.
Hale guided St. Mary’s to a 2011 state baseball championship after a state runner-up finish a year earlier with the Tigers. He won state Coach of the Year honors from both the Louisiana Sports Writers Association and the Louisiana Baseball Coaches Association.
“I am so fortunate to follow in the shoes of a man like Ronnie Abels and take over the helm of the Lady Chief softball program,” said Hale in a press release issued by NCHS. “Looking forward to working with these young ladies and coaches to continue a winning program and keeping Lady Chief softball at the top of the state.”
NCHS principal Micah Coleman cited Hale’s experience as key to the decision.
“Coach Hale has done such an admirable job in assisting coach Ronnie Abels for the last couple of years, and is deserving of the opportunity to lead our ladies’ program into even further depths of success as the head coach,” said Coleman. “Coach Hale is an educator that has always stepped up to the plate when it comes to putting students first at NCHS. I am excited to continue to see our ladies win at a high level.”
Hale was a starting centerfielder for the Demons in 2001-02, when NSU won the Southland Conference championship under two different head coaches, John Cohen followed by Mitch Gaspard.