Sumiton Christian honors Aderholt

Coach has guided Eagles to four state titles

By W. BRIAN HALE, Eagle Sports Writer
Posted 8/20/17

SUMITON — Thursday was a monumental day in the history of Sumiton Christian athletics.

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Sumiton Christian honors Aderholt

Coach has guided Eagles to four state titles

Posted

SUMITON — Thursday was a monumental day in the history of Sumiton Christian athletics.

Members of the 2017 Eagles softball team received their championship rings to symbolize the program’s third-consecutive state title, then remained on the field with alumni to help celebrate the announcement that the softball field would be named Aderholt Field in honor of head coach Jessica Aderholt.

The alumni group included members of Aderholt’s first championship squad of 2010, along with players from the 2015 and 2016 title teams and those who are currently playing at the collegiate level.

“When I came to Sumiton Christian in 2008 as softball coach, we wanted to build something special with a group of young ladies who their school and community could be proud of, and all of whom had dreams of winning a championship every year. Our focus was to get better every day — we played the best teams in the state regardless of size or classification. At the same time, our girls worked hard at their personal progress — learning to be leaders in the classroom and in the world they would encounter after graduation,” Aderholt said.

“Behind the program is a group that goes unheralded, but had been extremely vital to each and every member of our team. Our administration and staff here at Sumiton Christian have gone beyond the call in their support for our program. Our assistant coaches have helped us build a framework that everyone can be proud of. Finally, the parents of the young ladies who have taken the field in our uniform have been the biggest difference for us — without them, so much of our success would not have been possible.”

Sumiton Christian principal Dr. Cheryl Capps, who was also appointed to her position in 2008, stated her pleasure in the decision to rename the field in Aderholt’s honor, as well as the coach’s dedication to her players.

“Coming into the 2017 season, we all knew how much the team wanted to win a third-straight championship, as well as how much of a challenge it would be. We wanted to keep the renaming of the field secret so in case we weren’t able to win the title, there would be still a great celebration. To be able to give our deserving girls their rings and honor coach Aderholt with the announcement made the event that much more complete,” Capps said. “Coach Aderholt has been such an asset to our school and our athletic program. We hope she stays here for many, many years. Her goal is develop the lives of young people as Christians and leaders in whatever they decide to do. She wants them to be the best they can be, never quit and be a winner — and that type of leadership is so very vital for our school and as a community as a whole.”

Sumiton Church of God pastor Victor Massey, who has watched Aderholt’s leadership affect the young ladies in her program positively, called the coach and her players “great ambassadors for our school.”

“This was my first year to watch what coach Aderholt does not only on the field, but off the field for our players — it’s incredible. Being able to name the field in her honor is our way of saying how much we appreciate the way she has served us so well. Through this softball team, she has probably made a bigger impact on the community and have influence on a statewide level,” Massey said. “With the four championships our program has under her guidance, our athletics program overall is much stronger. Wherever our teams have gone, the players have represented us well and coach Aderholt’s leadership plays a key role in that aspect. Her loyalty and hard work will never go unnoticed or forgotten.”

Aderholt has a record of 463-150-2 and has won four state championships — 2010, 2015, 2016, 2017 — eight area titles, seven region championships, as well as winning regular-season tournaments against elite teams in every classification.

The 2017 team that received their championship rings broke AHSAA records in several categories in the quest for the third-consecutive title. The Eagles finished the season with a 57-9 record, overcoming a first-day loss at the state tournament to battle their way back into the championship final, where they beat three-time champion Brantley twice for the trophy.