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Pregnant Gaither coach resigns


© St. Petersburg Times, published May 23, 2001

TAMPA -- With a baby due in December, Gaither's Jerlyn Shaw resigned this week as softball coach, saying, "There just isn't enough time for everything."

"Coaching is my first love, but this is a decision I just had to make," Shaw said. "My principal (Ken Adum) told me if I wanted to take a year off and come back, I could. That might be an option, but I'm not making any decisions like that until after December and I see how it's going.

"I know (some area high school softball coaches) have kids, but I don't know how they do it. To stay competitive in this area, you have to coach it year-round."

Shaw coached Gaither for the past eight years, leading the Cowboys to a state title and 33-1 record in 1996.

She graduated from Hillsborough High in 1981 and coached basketball and softball at Hillsborough, Gaither and Hillsborough Community College.

Shaw's Cowboys went 18-11 this past season, but they showed improvement toward the end of the season. They upended heavily favored Bloomingdale 2-1 in the Class 6A, District 7 semifinals and lost only 3-2 to eventual state champion Sickles in the district final.

Bloomingdale had beaten Gaither by a combined 17-0 in two previous meetings. Gaither went on to lose 2-1 to Venice in 10 innings in the regional quarterfinal. "One of the hardest things (about stepping down) is that I had 14 kids coming back from last year's team," Shaw said.

"We had an overachieving team this year, and I feel like I might be letting them down heading into next year. But sometimes, your priorities have to change."

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