Hugo’s Randal Copeland – Softball Coach Spotlight Presented by Security First National Bank
By Derrick Smith
Just as athletes look up to other athletes as an influence on their career, the same goes for a lot of coaches. Whether it was a coach they had as an athlete or one that they now coach against, coaches make an impact on other coaches. Hugo’s Randal Copeland has a couple that he looks up to.
“My brother Richard has been someone I have looked up to,” he said. “He had a way of making the game fun. An example of this is giving silly names or phrases to certain situations or when someone did something good. The girls think I’m crazy when I do that, but I think they’re laughing at me trying to be funny rather than actually being funny.
“Alan Cartwright showed me you can have fun while working hard and still be successful. We knew we had to give everything we had on the field with him, or he would let us know in a second.”
Copeland is in his eighth season as a coach at Hugo. His first six years, he served as head coach of the junior high softball team. Two years ago, he added head coach of varsity to his resume. He says that game days are great, but he likes everything that goes into getting ready to play.
“I enjoy the preparations that go into it,” he said. “I like creating practice plans, executing those plans, and off-season conditioning. I love teaching younger kids who have never played the fundamentals of the game, and seeing them get excited about the game when they go out and compete or do something well. I also enjoy getting them to crack a smile when they’re down.”
Throughout his eight years of coaching, Randal has had some memorable moments, but he says that there are a few that probably stand out the most.
“Compared to other coaches, I have been coaching for a short time,” he said. “I would say my first win as the high school coach would be my favorite. But also, there was an extra inning walk-off against Soper on our opening night and our last spring game where we came out and run-ruled a very good Stuart team.”