Uprooting and moving your family from a place you’ve called home for 18 years is never easy. But that’s what Chris Jenkins did when he agreed to leave Jasper County High School in Monticello to take the job as softball coach at Richmond Hill.
The fact the new location was Richmond Hill made the decision a lot easier, Jenkins said. “It would take a special place to make us want to move,” Jenkins said. “I think we found it.”
Jenkins is replacing Angie Hummeldorf who gave up coaching a program she had developed into a consistent GHSA state playoff team. In Hummeldorf’s eight seasons the Wildcats made the state playoffs seven times while winning three region championships and finishing second four times.
Hummeldorf, who lost her husband Mark in an auto accident in November 2017, resigned in order to devote more time to her family. She has two small children.
Jenkins served in several different capacities at Jenkins County. He was the head softball coach for the entire time he was there, was head coach in baseball for 14 years and an assistant football coach for four seasons.
He will coach softball only at Richmond Hill. At one time he was also the school’s athletic director and was the Region 4-AA athletic director of the year in 2014. A graduate of the University of Georgia who earned his masters degree at Troy University he taught weight training at Jasper County. Jenkins’ wife, Amanda, will also be teaching at RHHS, and they have four children: rising junior Randy who runs cross country and plays soccer, freshman Collyn who runs cross country and swims, eight-grader Maggie who plays softball and basketball and seventh-grader Case who plays baseball.
“It’s not easy to uproot your children,” Jenkins said, “but all four were for it and that’s important.” The new Wildcats coach was in Richmond Hill briefly last week to get a quick look at his new hometown before taking his family on a beach vacation. “What little bit we saw we liked,” Jenkins said. “The city, the school administration and the school board checked all the boxes.”
While the schedule needs to be finalized the Wildcats will begin getting ready for the season this coming Monday, Jenkins said. Richmond Hill opens its season on Aug. 6 when it hosts Bryan County. The two teams will meet again five days later at Bryan County. “We’ll take the month of June to work on weights and getting on the track for speed training,” Jenkins said. “On July 6th we’ll have our first practice and use the first two days to evaluate returning players and have tryouts. After that we’ll be practicing Monday- Thursday from 8-10 a.m.
“The goal is to get some consistency. Last season they finished strong and with some stability we are just going to let them play ball and let the talent show.”
Richmond Hill finished 8-16 last year but did advance to the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs and will return eight starters.
Heading the returnees are senior pitchers Allie Washington and Katie Rearley and senior third baseman Avery Fisher. Juniors who started last year are Lucy Tuttle, Daisy Avery, Maddie Stevens, Kamdyn Richbourg and Kayla Ragins.
Assistant coaches Jessica Cooper, Scott Strickland and Jason Richbourg also