Former Jackson Academy head baseball coach and MLB World Series champion Jay Powell has taken on a new challenge in the world of sports, coaching girls. Powell is helping coach the Jackson Prep girls softball team this year. 

“I’ve had a little bit of experience with softball and I actually really enjoy it,” said Powell.

You know it’s kind of like arena baseball almost. It’s fast. It’s quick. One of the things I did when I started to coach softball was I called Tyler Bratton at Mississippi State and I talked to Tyler for a long time about it because Tyler made a similar transition. My goal of course is you know we want to win a state championship and I’d love to be a part of that so as a coach I want to just kind of learn as much as I can.”

One of the first things Coach Powell learned was just how tough the girls are.

“Girls are a lot tougher,” said Powell. “I hate to tell the guys that but you know my first day out here I was hitting a ground ball and it popped up and hit one of the little girls in the eye and I said, ‘Oh gosh,’ and so I ran out there and she turns around and she’s like, ‘I’m fine,’ and she’s got a C mark and a black eye. I’m like, ‘Are you sure?’ and she’s like, ‘I’m fine’. I was like if that was our kid they’d be laid out on the ground for two hours.”

Coach Powell even says he finds that girls are actually easier to coach.

“They just have a different mindset. They listen better and sometimes they have a little more drive. That’s not a knock on boys. It’s just the way they take coaching differently. I coached boys all my life and it’s a refreshing change.”

Senior first baseman Kayleigh Canoy enjoys learning more about the mental aspect of the game from Coach Powell and in return, she and the girls have taught him to smile more.

“I’ve learned not to think too much,” said Canoy. “He told me don’t think stupid. That’s his thing to me and we got him to smile more, which is an accomplishment, a major league baseball player to smile more.”