Dalton Reed excited to take over as head softball coach at Callaway High

Published 12:55 pm Thursday, June 20, 2024

It has been a whirlwind summer for Callaway’s new head softball coach Dalton Reed. The former Callaway assistant softball coach ended the school year without an inkling of an idea that he would be leading the program in just a couple of weeks. When the position opened, Reed proved the perfect fit for the job.

“When they introduced me as a head coach, it was so surreal. This is something that I’ve always wanted, I’ve always wanted to be a head coach,” Reed said. “It is very humbling I don’t really even have words for it. It’s just humbling and I’m honored. I just hope that I just don’t let people down.”

This was not the first time Reed was in the running for the head coaching position at Callaway. Three years ago, he was a finalist for the job but lost out. Originally, he was bitterly disappointed but eventually came to the realization of what he could offer the Callaway program even without the title of head coach.

“When I got the call that I didn’t get the job and they were like, ‘Hey, we want you to talk to the guy that got the job’ and I was kind of like, I don’t want to talk to that guy,” Reed said. “I changed my mind and I’m glad that we have been able to build what we have over those three years.”

Reed has been on board for the last three seasons as assistant varsity coach and the head JV coach. He always envisioned himself leading a program, but now that it is actually here, it’s a truly surreal feeling all around.

This area means a lot to Reed. A native and graduate of Heard County, Reed has carved out his own slice of the American Dream in West Georgia. He played baseball at Point University and has previously coached travel softball, middle school softball and high school softball in this area. 

The former Brave has long since traded in the maroon and white for the red and black of Callaway.

“I told Coach (Pete) Wiggins during my very first interview for the head coaching job three years ago when I was still teaching at  Heard County, I’m here until you fire me, I retire or something life-changing happens and that still holds true,” Reed said. 

Reed makes sure to signify that even though he is at the program’s helm, it is far from HIS program.

“To be honest, obviously, it is not my program,” Reed said. “It’s the girls program, it’s the alumni’s program, it’s anyone and everyone who’s ever been a part of the sorority, it’s their program. And my job is just to lead, guide and direct these girls into a position to be successful.”

There will be no dip in the standards from Callaway softball. Reed plans to maintain the expectations that are already in place while building towards the same goals the program has been operating under the last three years: winning region titles, punching their ticket to Columbus and proving themselves amongst the elites in 2A.

With Reed at the wheel, these goals may turn from dreams to reality quickly. The team lost just two seniors from last year’s team — Ava Shuford and Kylah Harris — and is poised to return to the vast majority of starters while bringing in a large and talented eighth-grade team.

Reed’s familiarity with the girls both new and old will be a major asset for the team.

“I got to see a lot of those girls on the JV side the last few years as head coach and we’ve got a lot of girls that have been with us since eighth grade,” And so being able to have that connection is 1000 times different than when you come in and you don’t know anybody. My first year here I  knew like legit three girls on the team, so having that chemistry and bond with the girls is going to be a big help.”

With Reed’s promotion to head varsity coach, there has been a shake-up in the coaching staff. Skylar Rice, who served as an assistant coach last season, will now be taking over as the head JV coach this season.

The dynamic duo is already hard at work in their new roles. Summer practice is well underway as games are on the horizon. In some ways, this makes a new era of Callaway softball, but in a lot of ways, this feels like an extension of what came before.