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Jessica Cooper announced as Bryan County’s new softball coach
Cooper was previously the softball assistant coach at Richmond Hill High School for 12 years.
BCHS softball head coach Jessica Cooper.
New BCHS softball head coach Jessica Cooper. Photo provided by Mike Brown.

Bryan County High School softball, long one of the premier softball programs in the Coastal Empire, is getting a new voice as Athletic Director Blaine Ennis announced Richmond Hill assistant Jessica Cooper will be heading up the program this fall.

Cooper, who has been at Richmond Hill 12 years, will be replacing Jason Roundtree who is stepping down after six seasons due to family considerations. Roundtree, who coached Redskins baseball for four seasons before taking over softball, compiled an outstanding 110-55-1 record highlighted by a school record 31-win season in 2020 and a third-place finish in the state.

Cooper has more than earned her first head coaching job as she has played an integral role in a sustained period of success at Richmond Hill. as the team’s pitching coach. During her tenure under current coach Chris Jenkins and his predecessor, Angie Hummeldorf, MaxPreps records show the Wildcats making the state playoffs every year.

“I’m excited and looking forward to becoming a part of the Bryan County High School family,” Cooper said. “It’s a top-notch program and it’s very clear as an outside person who has watched them over the years that the community and administration support athletics.

“The facility is outstanding,” Cooper said. “Every encounter I’ve had with coaches and administration at Bryan County has been first class. It’s also great I can stay in the school system, which is an excellent one, and not have to move. I don’t have to uproot my family.”

Jenkins came to Richmond Hill three years ago and he said he and everyone associated with Richmond Hill and the softball program couldn’t be happier for Cooper.

“We’re all excited for her and her family,” Jenkins said. “Bryan County is getting an outstanding coach and even better person. Her enthusiasm, whether it be in practice or a game, was always so contagious.

“The love her co-workers, fellow coaches, current and former players all have for her is a testament to the daily impact she has on people. I think they’ll achieve great things with her at the helm.”

Cooper played high school softball at Pike County and later pitched at South Georgia State for two years before transferring to Georgia Southern where she got both her undergraduate degree and a masters in coaching.

“I can sum it up in one word,” Cooper said when asked what she’ll be bringing to the Redskins. “Passion.

“I’m so passionate about this game and every tiny detail this game encompasses. I’ve had a couple of weeks to wrap my head around this and I’m still not sure it’s real. I’ve played against them and I’m aware of the tradition and culture there. It’s a lot like where I grew up.”

Cooper was the Wildcats’ interim coach in the 2017 season when Hummeldorf took a leave of absence following the death of her husband. The Wildcats were 15-13.

A trademark of Richmond Hill’s teams the last several years have been strong pitching and defense and Cooper said she will handle the pitchers which will be welcome news to returnees Emily Johnson, Abigail Lee and Eris Deal.

Cooper will inherit a solid nucleus of position players in Camryn Parker, Liz Harvey, Hayden Deeck and Lauren Sanderson around which to build.

“I’m not hoping to win, I’m expecting to win,” Cooper said. “I’m looking forward to meeting the players and families and getting to work. Richmond Hill is ready to go on a highly successful run but this was too good of an opportunity for me to turn down.”

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