carley price

North Lamar graduate Carley Price has seen great success on the softball diamond as a player and as a coach, and now she is the new head coach of the Honey Grove Lady Warriors.

A native of Pattonville who later moved to Lamar County, Price grew up playing baseball until she reached high school, when she began playing softball.

“I’ve always been a highly competitive person, and baseball and softball gave me an outlet for that,” she said. “I fell in love with the game right away.”

She shone on the field for North Lamar, establishing herself as one of the best catchers in the area and helping North Lamar secure the state title in her junior season.

After graduating high school, she continued her athletic career first at Independence Community College, where she played for two years, and then at Rogers University, where she played for the next two years. Though she played catcher for North Lamar, she transitioned to shortstop at the collegiate level.

After finishing her college career, Price said she wasn’t ready to leave the game of softball quite yet. She stayed on with the college for a year while working on her Masters Degree of Education in Sports Administration.

She worked for a time as an elementary school PE teacher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, before moving to Howe ISD, where she served as an assistant softball coach.

After spending a few years at Howe, Price decided to return home to North Texas, and luckily an assistant coach position had recently opened up at Honey Grove, she said.

“I wanted something closer to home, and I wanted to get back to my family,” she said. “I’m blessed that we were able to find a place in Pecan Gap.”

She served as an assistant coach under former coach Lee Frost for a year while also teaching high school health and exploring careers at the middle school level, she said.

As a coach, Price said she stresses the importance of strong fundamentals to her players. She likes to emphasize the familial relationship.

“I love the family bond that forms with teams,” she said. “You do become like family. That team that won state back when i was at North Lamar, I still remember every girl who was on that team. Being there for one another, holding each other accountable — That’s what I try to emphasize.

“I’m ready to get back on the field. We’ve got a strong group of underclassmen who are eager to play. I’m just excited for the season to start. It’s important to not take this time for granted, as this season has shown us.”

Tommy Culkin is a staff writer for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6972 or at tommy.culkin@theparisnews.com.

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