By Brent Huelsmann
Following a meeting of the NCHS School Board on Monday night, it was announced that Shaun Renth, the athletic director at Trinity–St. John School and former NCHS JV Boys Baseball Coach, will be the next Nashville High School softball coach. The Hornettes softball team is coming off their second Class 2A title in the last five years. The Hornettes are one of the most successful programs in Illinois State history.
Renth will take over for Dempsey Witte, who holds the all time record for most wins as Nashville’s softball head coach. Before taking this job, Renth has been the athletic director for Trinity St. Johns, as well as the head coach for the TSJ/St. Ann baseball team. Renth also has been the head coach for the JV baseball team at Nashville High School for the last 16 years.
Athletic Director Wayne Harre said of the hire “It’s big shoes to fill no doubt about that but I think he’s ready to be a head coach.” When asked about if the job was intimidating Harre said, “ I think so, I think people look at the last 5 years and think well that’s all we’ve done, is one all thes games, but that’s not necessarily true. In the 15 years I helped we’ve had some teams around .500 but people don’t remember those teams.”
Renth said of the opportunity “ I’m pretty excited about it, I’m a little nervous at the same time, but pretty excited, I’ve coached out there baseball for 16 years now, this will be my 17th year staff, and it just felt like the right time to make the move to softball.” Renth says the job, is a little intimidating, but doesn’t want to replace Witte, and is going to give 100% to the job. Renth plans to keep his job as the Athletic Director at Trinity St. John’s as well as the head baseball coach for St. Ann/TSJ for the next season.
Added to the coaching staff for next season will be Breanne Pelker. Pelker is a 2011 graduate of Nashville High School, and currently is also a coach for the Nashville Middle School Jr. Hornettes softball team. Harre said of Pelker that “she’s been around the game of softball a long time and she’ll be a good addition to the staff for coach Renth.”
In addition to Renth and Pelker, the Hornettes softball team will return coaches Patrick Weathers and Charlie Heck for the 2016 season. Harre does not forsee any additional hires for the coaching staff.