Meeks to lead Lady Blue Devils on softball diamond

Matthew Meeks, at just 25-years-old, will lead Statesboro High School’s varsity softball team for the 2021-2022 season. He was named head coach of the program Friday, May 14.

Meeks joins Statesboro with a few years of coaching experience under his belt already. He coached at his alma mater, nearby Johnson County High School, for two years before joining the faculty and baseball coaching staff at Statesboro last year.

About the opportunity to lead the Lady Blue Devils, Meeks said, “This is most definitely a blessing. I’m a firm believer that God puts us exactly where we are supposed to be in life, so I’m going to do my best in the head coach position I have now.”

His first piece of business as head coach will take place this week as tryouts commence. The team will begin practicing in June. Meeks inherits a program that went 8-11 overall and 4-9 in region in the 2020-2021 season. He replaces Kaylee Coleman as head coach.

When asked about some of his goals for the program, Meeks replied, “I want to establish a strong team environment that focuses on the entirety of the team. Some specifics I have in mind are to make the state playoffs each year and play multiple rounds and to develop young student-athletes into productive citizens that can be dependable and counted on in their families and communities.”

Meeks was a four-year letterman at Johnson County High in Wrightsville, earning all-state honors as a Trojan his senior year. He was also named Region 3A Player of the Year as a senior. He graduated in 2014 and went to Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College for two years. As a freshman Stallion, Meeks went 7-6 with a 4.56 ERA in 15 appearances. The next year, he went 7-5 with a 2.73 ERA in 15 starts. In his 14 starts, he hurled a team-high five complete games.

Meeks played his junior year at Armstrong State. There, he was ranked seventh in the Peach Belt Conference with an ERA of 3.16. He was named PBC Pitcher of the Week on May 1, 2017, and he appeared in 12 games, making 11 starts. Meeks pitched 82.2 innings and recorded a team-best 69 strikeouts with a record of 4-4 on the mound.

He played his final year of collegiate baseball at Augusta University in 2018. He made a team-high 11 starts on the mound, compiled two saves, and was named MVP at the annual Augusta University Athletics Awards Banquet. Meeks was named the PBC Pitcher of the Week on February 27, 2018; led the team in strikeouts (58) and starts (11); and had the second-lowest ERA (3.72) on the team. He went 2-5 on the season, holding batters to a .225 batting average and logging a team-high 67.2 innings pitched. He struck out 12 batters looking, and on April 27, he tossed a complete game, striking out four while holding Lynn University to 3 hits for 2 runs in the final outing.

Meeks says his experience playing baseball and coaching will help him in a unique way. “I’ve had the experience to be under some awesome head coaches from high school through college and now back to the high school game. I’ve learned a lot of things from these men who have helped mold me into the coach I am today and still try to achieve on a daily basis. As far as my own playing experience, with playing roughly 90 to 100 high school games and playing into the playoffs, as well as having been a part of roughly 200 college games and playing into the playoffs two of my four years, all of these experiences really help give you an understanding of what it takes to be a playoff-caliber team and continue moving forward as the year progresses.”

He is the son of Steve and Nancy Meeks of Kite.

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