BELFAST — The softball program at Belfast Area High School has found its new head coach in someone familiar to the school community, as an alumnus and a coach.
Moving forward, the Lions will be under the direction of Jason Fuller, who has been coaching summer softball with the team’s current roster of players and graduated from the high school in 1990.
Working with the players during the summer season proved to be an added bonus for Fuller during the search for a new coach.
“I believe they have enjoyed playing for him and have developed an atmosphere of mutual respect,” said Kenniston.
Kenniston noted Fuller is knowledgeable of the game and is infusing the program with a great work ethic mindset, yielding a build up of anticipation for the upcoming season.
“We look forward to an exciting softball season under his direction,” he said.
Fuller has an extensive background as a coach for the Waldo County Little League and served on the league’s board of directors, including a stint as the board’s president.
For a decade, Fuller has coached baseball in Searsmont, many times simultaneously coaching teams in two age divisions.
Fuller made significant contributions to the sport in Searsmont, where he has served as the town’s athletic field coordinator, as evidenced by the recognition he received in the Town of Searsmont’s annual report for the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2016.
“Jason has been the person that has been very much involved in setting up Searsmont’s Youth Baseball Teams and making things work: The ballfield on Route 3, recruitment of participants, scheduling of games, field maintenance, and all that goes with making the program successful,” the town report acknowledgement read, in part.
Though Fuller has been out of coaching for the past two years, he has not been away from sports as he filled his time by golfing. Golf, however, could not fill the void he felt by not coaching.
At the end of the 2019 softball season, Chris Bartlett stepped down from his role as the team’s head coach after 15 seasons with the program.
Following Bartlett’s resignation, Fuller’s daughter, Sarah, asked her father if he wanted to get back into coaching. Sarah Fuller is a junior on this year’s softball team.
“I was apprehensive to commit at first but when Coach Bartlett asked me if I wanted to coach the summer softball team, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to coach her again,” said Fuller. “After the summer league ended, I enjoyed it so much I think I was the first person to contact [athletic directory Terry] Kenniston to apply.”
The Lions finished the 2019 season with a 7-12 record and 11th in the 21-team Class B North division.
In the postseason, the 11th-seeded Lions posted an upset 4-0 shutout victory over sixth-seeded Foxcroft Academy in the preliminary round before being eliminated by third-seeded Hermon in a 5-1 regional quarterfinal round loss.
Fuller expects this year’s team to continue down the path Bartlett put the team on prior to his resignation.
“Coaching a team to success takes a lot of hard work and a lot of hours on the practice field,” said Fuller. “One coaching philosophy of mine is you practice how you play, if you work hard at the drills in practice you will be confident and successful on the field. Building player confidence and putting them in a position to be successful allows our student athletes to fully enjoy the sport of softball.”
Reach George Harvey and the sports department at: firstname.lastname@example.org.