Preslie Norris returns to Corner as head coach

By JOHNATHAN BENTLEY, Eagle Sports Editor
Posted 7/2/19

CORNER — Preslie Norris was a star softball player at Corner High School.

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Preslie Norris returns to Corner as head coach

Posted

CORNER — Preslie Norris was a star softball player at Corner High School.

A two-time All-State selection, she helped the Yellow Jackets make the State Softball Tournament three times before taking her talents to Western Kentucky University where she set numerous school records.

Now at 26, Norris — formerly Cruce — is back at her alma mater as the Corner head softball coach.

“I wasn’t really looking (for a new job). I loved my job at Bragg, but I knew if somebody called I would be ready,” Norris said.

She got that call from Corner High School after former softball coach Karen Atkins took a job at Gulf Shores High School.

“I’ve kind of watched the program since I’ve been home. I’ve been waiting on my time,” Norris added.

She inherits a Corner team that spent most of the season in the Class 5A rankings in 2019 before closing the year at 25-13 following a upset loss to Jasper in the area tournament. The Yellow Jackets graduated eight players from the team, including long-time starter Brantly Bonds, as well as, Jiselle Woodson, Shelby Sanford and pitcher Ivey Hill.

Corner battled through one of the toughest areas in the state. Area foe Hayden won the state championship while Mortimer Jordan won a regional title (over Hayden) and finished fourth in Montgomery.

“We do have a tough area, but you have to play those teams and find a way to get through,” said Norris, who will be helped by assistant coach Suzie McCormack.

During Norris’ playing days, Corner made the State Softball Tournament three times, placing fourth her freshman year, second her sophomore year and third in her junior year.

“I think that’s the last time Corner went to state. It’s been a minute, but that’s my goal for the program is to just get us back to that point. I’ve got a vision for the program. I’m going to invest in these kids and work them hard,” said Norris, who has met with her team once since she was hired.

“We are going to start working out on July 8th, that’s where I will really get to know them.”

Norris graduated from Corner in 2011 — the first year in the new school. She made the All-State Tournament Team in both her sophomore and junior seasons and was named first team All-State in her junior and senior seasons.

Norris continued her career at Western Kentucky where she was a two-time all conference player.

She started every game but one in her career, totaling 227 games. She finished as the Hilltoppers’ all-time leader in runs (151), walks (92), hit by pitch (80) and on-base percentage (.446). She was second in career home runs (33).

After receiving her degree, Norris got her first job at Jasper Middle School, where she coached basketball and softball. She’s coached at Bragg Middle School the last two years and also helped with Gardendale High School’s softball team this season. The Rockets finished as the Class 6A state runner up to Buckhorn.

Now she returns to coach on the field where she played her senior season.

“The best thing about coming home is that I know everybody and I feel supported by the community. I’m really excited,” she said.