PLEASANT HILL – Head coach Steve Williams has had a hectic start to his first year as the leader of Pleasant Hill’s softball program: The Billies’ girls basketball team made it to the consolation finals in the winter, meaning Williams had six players who didn’t join the team until week two of the preseason. Williams has entirely revamped the coaching staff top-to-bottom. And most players are trying out new positions to start the year.
Despite all of that, Pleasant Hill is 4-1 and a top-10 team.
“Overall, I’m pleased with our performance so far (this season). It’s a work in progress every day, just with the staff being new, and my philosophies and my coaching style being new to everybody. So it’s kind of foreign for all of us,” Williams said. “But we have a pretty good team spirit, a pretty good bond, we just got to work on that and get stronger and stronger and start buying in a little bit more of what we’re trying to do here as a program.”
Pleasant Hill’s 12-2 loss on Monday against defending runner-ups and current No. 2 Yamhill-Carlton was the team’s first loss of the season. The loss was an important lesson for Williams’ team, he said. It showed them a style of togetherness and support that Williams hopes to bring to Pleasant Hill
“I told (Yamhill’s) coaches that we want to model that type of atmosphere. They did a very good job communicating on the field. If you were just walking by, you would think they were all best friends, because of how they reacted and how they picked each other up,” Williams said. “We just talked about how we want to emulate that type of a team and how well they worked together.”
Williams came to Pleasant Hill from Thurston, where he was an assistant last year, but has previous head coaching experience at Glide and Milwaukie. He now looks to continue to build a Billies softball program that made the postseason last year.
“Obviously, long term, we just want to keep working hard and get better every day and just keep progressing,” Williams said. “We still believe we’re the best team in our league, we still feel that we should win our league and get a first-round bye and go into the playoffs as a top-10 team. … We still are confident in that, we still believe in that.”