When softball Tuttle coach Jerry Bates got home from Saturday's game at Chickasha, he knew it was time.
“It has been a very stressful year,” Bates said. “That stress has caused me not to be the best coach. I've been not very nice to be around.”
Over the weekend, Bates took stock and by Sunday night, decided to resign as the Tigers' coach.
“Winning had kind of gotten in the way,” Bates said. “We were four games away from 1,000 wins. It was something I was looking forward to. But it got to the point where I wasn't the kind of coach those girls needed.”
Bates' parents live in Oklahoma City and are moving out of the house they've lived in for nearly 50 years this week due to his father's health.
Jennifer White-Stokes, a two-time high school All-American at Tuttle and a standout at Florida State, took over the team. She had been hired before the season to coach the junior high program.
“I've been succeeded by a really good person,” Bates said. “She's got the credentials and the program is in great hands.”
Tuttle has won both its games this week, beating Washington and Hammond.
Edmond North, Moore, Mustang and Yukon will host Class 6A regionals on the West side, while Broken Arrow, Jenks, Owasso and Sand Springs will host in the East.
In Class 5A, Carl Albert, Chickasha, Collinsville, Deer Creek, Duncan, Grove, McAlester and Tahlequah will host.
Regional play is scheduled to begin Thursday and concludes Friday with one team from each four-team regional advancing to next week's state tournament. Some regionals may opt to play on different days, though.
MOORE STAYS HOT
After Moore swept through the Chickasha Tournament with wins over Lawton MacArthur, Purcell and Chickasha over the weekend, the Lions stayed hot with a pair of tight wins early in the week.
Moore beat Edmond Santa Fe 3-2 on Monday and Little Axe 4-2.
The Lions close this week with games against Norman (Thursday) and Bethel (Friday) before playing Carl Albert on Oct. 1 in their final regular-season game.
Moore will host Lawton, Lawton Eisenhower and Putnam City North in a regional that begins Wednesday.