Trinity softball team dedicates season to former coach
Published 1:05 am Sunday, September 9, 2007
NATCHEZ — The Trinity girls fast-pitch softball team has come along way in two years thanks to one man, Robert Ogden.
Ogden fielded the first fast pitch team in school’s history in fall of 2006. It was a rocky start with the program finishing 0-12.
“He started our fast pitch team,” Trinity catcher Sarah Brumfield said. “He made it fun for us and taught us what we needed to know.”
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After the first season, Ogden continued spending his time practicing with the team and organizing a summer league team for the girls.
“Robert was spread out all over,” long time friend Rut Horn said. “Everything he got into, it was whole-heartedly.”
But Ogden wouldn’t get to see the next season.
At 66-years-old he died on April 21 of a heart attack.
“He was a very good coach,” Trinity third baseman Katie Steele said. “Even when we were losing badly, he made it fun for us. There is none better.”
Ogden devoted his time to the team and spent his energy on each girl to help develop her skills.
“We were clueless coming in,” Trinity first baseman Olivia Walden said. “He taught us everything.”
Alyx Atkinson started playing for Ogden two years ago for the Ferriday All-Stars. In that time he helped develop her pitching and eventually helped bring her to Trinity.
“He is the reason I’m here,” Atkinson said. “He worked hard for us. He gave me the confidence to get on the mound.”
After his death, the girls feared there might not be a team.
“It just wasn’t the same,” centerfielder Mallory Byrd said. “He was the only one that believed in us. He was the reason why we played.”
Trinity did field a team this fall and they have a purpose.
“(The team) decided at his funeral to dedicate our season to him,” Brumfield said. “He believed in us and would want us to win.”
Every time the Lady Saints take the field this season “RO” is with them.
“We wear wrist bands with his initials, RO, on them in his memory,” Atkinson said.
New head coach Sue Geter said the impact Ogden left on the team was tremendous.
“The girls looked up to him and you can tell how much they loved him,” Geter said. “I was nervous taking over the team. RO left some big shoes to fill. I know I can’t fill them but he cared about this program and wanted it to thrive. I’m going to do my part to continue that.”
For the girls Ogden touched his lessons live on.
“He taught us more than softball,” Steele said. “He taught us to never give up and have fun. He will always be with us.”