North DeSoto's Tim Whitman named LHSAA Class 4A Coach of the Year in softball

Jimmy Watson
Shreveport Times

The look on Tim Whitman’s face as he bounded across the artificial turf at Sulphur’s Frasch Park following North DeSoto’s LHSAA Class 4A state softball championship victory last month was proof winning never gets old.

The architect of six championship runs at three different Louisiana High schools, Whitman was named the Louisiana Sports Writers Association 4A Coach of the Year after leading the Lady Griffins to a 33-5 record in just his second year in Stonewall. 

“This never gets old. I shed a tear just like I shed’em every other time,” Whitman said following the title game. “I’ve experienced this a bunch, but the kids only get a certain opportunity to do it. It’s special to see the kids get the opportunity.”

TOP OF THE CLASS: 2021 Times All-Area softball team 

BEST OF THE BEST: 2021 Times All-City softball team

Whitman also won state titles at Pineville (three) and Ouachita (two), along with an NCAA Division III national title at Louisiana College. He has built on the success of previous coach Lori McFerren, who won titles in 2015, 2016 and 2017 before giving way to Whitman.

“The tradition’s been here for a long time, but these kids have made their own mark – these three seniors have been leaders all year by what they’ve done on the field,” Whitman said. 

One of those seniors, Madelyn Garrett, erupted for a key home run in the championship game and was named the outstanding player. Recent graduates Macy Corley and Whitley Martin also contributed but they key to the future was freshman pitcher Laney Johnson, who was named the LSWA Class 4A Outstanding Player.

Johnson posted a 24-3 record with a 1.91 ERA and 206 strikeouts in 167 innings. She also hit .371 with 10 home runs and 44 RBIs.

The LSWA softball first team also included Mia Norwood and Whitley Martin, while the baseball first-team included Brett Remedes and Robert Ashley.

Martin was one of the top hitters in the area at .452 with 42 runs scored, while Norwood, another freshman, hit .493 with five home runs, 33 RBIs and 43 runs scored. Remedes, who made it as a utility player, was 6-1 with an 0.882 ERA and 51 strikeouts. Ashley, a sophomore, was selected as the top catcher after hitting .492 with 42 RBIs and 54 runs scored. 

North DeSoto's Laney Johnson

Whitman played quarterback at Grant High School and also played basketball there with Northwood softball coach Greg Swearengin. He is already gearing up for a seventh title in 2022.

“I’ve been doing this a long time and I’ve had a lot of opportunities to be here on this stage – and I’ll probably have a few more if I stay here and don’t die,” he said. “Every year is special. You think about the ones you lost out on more than the ones you won because of things like this.”

Twitter: @JimmyWatson6