Hooper takes reins

Published 9:08 am Friday, March 26, 2010

ISLE OF WIGHT — Chris Hooper, assistant headmaster for Isle of Wight Academy’s high school, is the new girls’ head varsity softball coach.

The Chargers, who were 15-3 in 2009, are 4-1 so far this season.

A 1983 graduate of IWA, Hooper is also the girls’ basketball coach and junior varsity football coach.

Hooper in the 1990s coached softball for three years at Fuqua School while attending Longwood University. He has experienced the game through friends who played for Arizona State and while managing a sports complex.

“I’ve been around it and watched and learned,” Hooper said.

He noted Isle of Wight has a good program through recreation and traveling teams.

Filling veteran coach Jack Reynolds’ shoes, however, will be a challenge. Reynolds retired in January after 33 years at the helm.

“We’ve been one of the top teams since 2000,” Hooper said. “We have girls who are excellent players. By the time they reach this level, they are motivated and working on fundamentals and reinforcing them.”

The Chargers are a young team this year. Four freshmen and two eighth-graders are seeing a lot of playing time, he said.