Updated: May 2, 2019
by Jerrad Hardin
When Coach Mackey’s phone rang a full two hours before his alarm was to wake him for the last day of the school year, he immediately felt agitated.
As he answered it, a familiar voice greeted Mackey, and so began the worst day of his coaching career.
Marvin Mackey was a hardened coach having faithfully served the Millersville School District for more than twenty years. During his time serving as the school’s first and only softball coach, he had experienced just about everything a coach could imagine.
Certainly, there had been losses, but there were many more victories. Few, if any, could rival the success that Mackey had achieved. Twenty-two seasons, never a losing one, and more championships than any other coach in the state.
Mackey always credited his no-nonsense style for his success. A former Marine, Mackey famously conditioned his teams with a firm hand and tireless work ethic. His large frame intimidated those in his presence – and if there was a soft-heart beating inside his barreled chest – nobody knew it.
He thought his tough-guy persona would always win the day, get his players to toe-the-line, and lead to success. So, he played the role, and over his career, he developed quite the hard-nosed reputation.
This alone scared away many girls in the school from joining the softball program. But not Mallory Jones.
Well, at least not after her freshman year. As a freshman, she was like those before her who had avoided Coach Mackey. Instead, she focused on other talents. Mallory was a beautiful and gifted singer. She used her voice to star in the school musical, the choir, and even won grand prize at a local talent show.
Mallory seemed more destined for American Idol than a place on the Millersville Softball Team.
That’s why all her friends were shocked when she declared she was going out for the team.<