Statesboro High won’t be the only Bulloch County softball team with a new coach for the upcoming season, as Bulloch Academy head coach Kyle Chambers is leaving to accept a teaching, and coaching position at Brookwood High School in Snellville.
“The last seven years at Bulloch Academy and in the Statesboro community have been awesome,” Chambers said. “Being the head varsity softball coach produced some of the most memorable times of my life. The relationships I made from coaching at Bulloch Academy are priceless. From the administration to the parents, to the players and students, it has been a wonderful ride. I cannot wait to see the future of Bulloch Academy Softball."
Tuesday evening Bulloch Academy Athletics Director Pat Collins announced that former Portal standout, and assistant coach Nikki Perkins will be taking over as the Lady Gators new head coach.
“We were pleased to have an extremely qualified group of applicants to make our selection from,” Collins said. “Characteristics that were considered included previous playing and coaching experience. Additionally, candidates were vetted regarding evidence of their character, integrity, work ethic, leadership and ties to the community. We feel confident we found the right person in Nikkie Perkins.”
Perkins enjoyed a stellar high school career at Portal, where she was a three-time region offensive player of the year, and four time all-region player. Following high school, Perkins continued playing softball at East Georgia College in Swainsboro. After her playing career, Perkins began her coaching career as an assistant softball coach at Portal High School and later as the Head Coach of the Around the Horn 14U travel softball team.
“I am overwhelmed with the love and support I have received in just a few short days from this community,” Perkins said. “I am excited to see my future as a Bulloch Academy Gator.
First and foremost, I would like to thank God for this opportunity and allowing me to do something I love all while leading this team on and off the field. I am extremely grateful for the best support team including my husband, parents, and sister. They have always been my biggest fans and believed in me even when I have doubted myself. I would also like to thank my previous coaches, especially Megen Conner, who has instilled in me a strong work ethic and the dedication to succeed. Lastly, I would like to thank the Bulloch Academy administration, along with Pat Collins and Barbara Conner, for trusting in me and granting me this opportunity.”
Most of the time when a new coach is hired they get a chance to meet the team, and go over some things they may expect from the players. Unfortunately with the current Covid-19 pandemic Perkins has no idea when that day will come.
“Unfortunately we won’t be able to have the traditional meet and greet with players and their parents,” Perkins said. “Thankfully technology has come a long way, and I have some Zoom meetings planned in order to get to know the girls. I am praying, along with everyone else, that we can start practicing soon, all the while staying safe and adhering to our government’s advice.”
The Gators lose four seniors from last year’s region championship team, but return a good nucleus of players that have had plenty of success the past few years.
“Although seniors are always hard to lose, I am confident that our returning players as well as new ones, will step up to fulfill any and all positions,” Perkins said. “I am looking forward to working hard and pushing these girls to achieve their personal and team goals we will set for this season.”