Powers out as Lady Jacket coach

Published 8:14 pm Thursday, March 1, 2018

For seven years, Luster Powers graced the dugout for the Middlesboro softball team. That long stint which saw the team turn into a perennial district powerhouse comes to an end this year. Powers was relieved of his duties as the Lady Jacket head coach.

The moves comes on the heels of a 2017 season that saw Middlesboro make it to the 52nd District championship and advance to the 13th Region semifinals. The Lady Jackets also won their sixth straight 13th Region All A tournament last year.

“I would like to thank Bill Jones for giving me the opportunity to coach,” said Powers in a short phone interview.

Powers holds an overall record of 117-89 while at the helm. That stretch includes two district championships, five trips to the 13th Region tournament and at least six 13th Region All A titles.

The Powers regime got off to a rocky start with the team going a combined 18-39 in 2011 and 2012. In both years, the Lady Jackets’ season ended in the 52nd District tournament. Those would be the only years Middlesboro would not have a winning record under Powers.

In 2013, the Lady Jackets increased their win total by nine holding a 20-10 overall record and going 8-2 in district play. The team won the district championship but fell to Corbin in the opening round of the regional tournament.

Middlesboro saw similar success the following year going 17-11 (5-3 district). While the team didn’t win the district championship, they advanced to the 13 Region semifinals before losing to South Laurel.

Powers’ fifth season (2015) with the Lady Jackets was arguably his most successful. The team went 25-8 overall and 9-0 in district play on their way to its second district title in three years. An 11-0 victory over Lynn Camp in the 13th Region tournament sent Middlesboro to the semis before losing to South Laurel.

In his final two years, Powers and the Lady Jackets combined for a 37-21 record while making it to the district championship in both years. In 2017, Middlesboro advanced to the 13th Region semifinals before being knocked out by North Laurel.

Petie Gilbert was named the head coach for the 2018 season.

Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMND