LOCUST GROVE — The Luella Lions formally announced Wednesday morning the selection of Ashley Sims as new head baseball coach. Sims was promoted from his prior role as assistant coach.
“I’m extremely confident with the appointment,” Luella High athletic director James Roberts said. “There was no competition for coach Sims. He was my first choice after going over the candidates. The kids know him. I think he’s going to lead this team to the next level.”
Sims is the fifth baseball coach in school history and was the varsity assistant coach over the past two seasons. Before that, Sims was a coach at Ola for six years. Luella had an 18-11 record under Tom Kelley in 2017, but the program dropped to 13-19 last season.
“I’m just excited to get going and I’m excited to get a head coaching job,” Sims said. “As far as taking over, it’s something that I always thought about and it’s here. It’s just taking over and making sure everybody is doing what they’re supposed to do.”
Sims will bring his own spin to Luella’s practices beginning this season.
“Working under Kelley, and we both worked under (Beau) Edwards at Ola, we learned a lot under him,” Sims said. “Of course, me and Beau played together at South Georgia College, so we’ve always talked baseball. It’s just we wanted to teach kids how to play the game the right way and what I’ll be doing with what I learned from them is taking everything we have and structuring it a little more. I like short and intense practices, and sometimes in baseball you can do too much and do too much in one day. I just want to take these guys and work on two things repetitively then go home.”
The fact that Luella has been to the playoffs multiple times over the past few years lends to a fact that Sims is stepping into a high-pressure role with expectations to get the program back to the postseason.
“If you look at the numbers they say that we’ve been to the playoffs every year that this school has been open. It kind of put a little pressure on the job,” Sims said. “But I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t put that pressure on me. If we do what we’re supposed to do, we will make the playoffs again. I’m not a big pressure person.”