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White Plains, AL – Wildcats’ year of change continues with Muncher now permanent head coach in softball, Sprayberry permanent head coach in girls’ basketball

Editor’s note: This story first appeared on May 23 and is being updated after Tuesday’s meeting of the Calhoun County Board of Education. Updates are at bottom.

By Joe Medley

White Plains’ big year of coaching transition continued this week with a change atop the softball program, which played in the state tournament last week.

Lex Hull-Muncher, who served as an assistant this past season, is interim head coach, taking over for former head coach Tiffany Williams.

A permanent head coach is expected to be voted on at the June 6 Calhoun County Board of Education meeting. Same for the girls’ basketball program, with Clay Sprayberry serving as interim head coach after Matt Ford stepped back from coaching in March.

White Plains has seen varsity head coaching changes in football, volleyball, girls’ basketball, baseball and softball during the 2022-23 school year.

The Calhoun County Board of Education approved former Donoho and Sylacauga head coach Jamie Clendenin’s hiring for volleyball last week. Blake Jennings, a long-time football assistant and baseball head coach at Ohatchee, is White Plains’ new head coach in both sports.

“In the 18 years I’ve been an administrator, there’s probably not been this many changes (in one year),” White Plains principal Andy Ward said. “I guess with change comes some excitement, as well, and that’s nothing against the people that’s been coaching these sports. They’re all great people, and I’ve certainly enjoyed working with them.”

Transitions started this time a year ago, when long-time softball coach Rachel Ford, for whom the team’s field is named, announced she would step back from coaching to spend more time following her children’s sports careers.

Williams was promoted to replace Rachel Ford and guided White Plains to a 31-16 record in 2023. The Wildcats won area and regional titles and overcame three season-ending injuries to reach the state tournament for the first time since 2019.

Williams also teaches math and will transition from the high school to the middle school.

“The situation was, in our community, we needed her to go down to the middle school to teach math,” Ward said. “When you’re on a different campus, it’s very difficult to keep up with the workouts and the things that have to be done in order to be an effective head coach.

“Coach Williams understands that. It’s not a situation where she did a poor job or really softball related at all. It’s a situation where she was needed elsewhere, and I think she understands that, and she’s fine with the transition.”

Update

As reported Tuesday, the Calhoun County Board of Education approved Muncher’s and Sprayberry’s elevation from interim head coaches to permanent head coaches.

“I am excited for the opportunity to continue serving the White Plains community,” Muncher said.

Muncher graduated from Ballard High School in Louisville, Ky., where she the 2015 Class 3A player of the year and a four-time all-state selection. She played two years at the University of South Carolina and finished her playing career at Jacksonville State.

Muncher made the 2016 SEC All-Freshman Scholar-Athlete Team and was a two-time SEC academic all-American.She helped JSU win the 2018 Ohio Valley Conference title and 2019 regular-season OVC title.

She was the assistant coach for an A-Class travel ball team, the Tennessee Mojo-Cherry, and started a travel catching clinic business. She was a full-time instructor at Top Gun (Oxford), and began a student-athlete mental health awareness movement called, “I am, I play.”

She recently co-founded GRIT Softball Academy in Anniston.

“Coach Muncher has been around softball for years, whether it be playing or coaching,” Ward said. “She has the determination to be successful as a coach and wants to see our softball program continue to be as great as it has been in the past.”

Sprayberry just completed his 18th year at White Plains. On the varsity level, he’s been an assistant coach in boys’ basketball and football. As for the chance to coach girls’ basketball, he said he “jumped on it with both feet.”

“I told the junior-high girls after the county tournament that if I ever had the opportunity to coach them again, I would definitely want to do that,” he said. “With this group of seniors we have coming up, it’s a special group. Just to have the privilege to coach them is going to be fun.”

Ward praised Sprayberry’s work ethic.

“He is coaching three sports and dedicates a tremendous amount of time to the students at WPHS!” Ward said. “He has been around our programs for many years as a former WPHS student and a coach. He has the knowledge of what it takes to be successful.”

 

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