The Times West Virginian

Sports

March 28, 2013

With new coach, North softball aiming high

FAIRMONT — When it comes to North Marion athletics, Brad Harker is no stranger.

He’s been a football assistant for the Huskies and his son, Andrew, is one of many key players in the program moving forward. In addition to that, he was also the school’s head softball coach from the late 1990s to mid 2000s.

“I’ve been here before,” he said.

And now he’s back, as Harker was hired over the winter to replace Josh Barker and lead North softball yet again.

The first go-around was a relatively successful one — North had several seasons above .500 while in Class AAA — and he’s looking for another winning run with the drop down to double-A.

The chance of a big season seems possible, as the Huskies boast returning starters all over the diamond and a talented, experienced starting pitching staff in Danielle Fluharty and Chelsi Latocha.

“Getting back into it has taken time,” said Harker, whose assistant is his former catcher at North, Lacee Parker. “You have to figure out the girls and they have had to figure out me.”

So far, the team has bought into what Harker is selling and is looking to build off a promising 2012. Last season, the Huskies finished 14-14, beat rival Fairmont Senior in the opening round of the sectional tournament and had its first non-losing year in nearly a decade.

Now, the goals have been raised and so have the expectations. There’s a bit of a buzz about the team in the Northern part of the county and what they could accomplish if all the stars align.

 

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