A year after becoming the first team to win a state championship for Thunder Mountain High School, the Falcons softball team has a new head coach this season.
Brittnay Gladsjo, a Washingtonian with a Division I softball past, steps in for Jorge Cordero as the TMHS head softball coach.
After six weeks of mostly indoor practice at the Dimond Field house, the Falcons are just now starting their Region V playing season. The Falcons ferry to Ketchikan this weekend for games against the Kings today and Saturday.
Gladsjo looks to be an ideal replacement for Cordero, the man responsible for guiding the team to its first state championship last year.
She brings three years of playing experience at the NCAA Division I level. After helping her small, rural high school in Concrete, Washington, to an 84-18 overall record, she went on to play at East Carolina University (2008) and Presbyterian College (2009-2010).
She’s also comfortable raising her voice when she needs to — Gladsjo is a third grade teacher at Mendenhall River Community School. At 28, she also brings a youthful personality to the dimond.
Even with all her credentials, Gladsjo says she’s treading lightly as a coach.
“I’d say I have a lot to learn, I’m young, and I know I’m young,” Gladsjo said. “I’ve played the game a lot, I’m still new as a coach.”
She says having assistant John Boucher by her side will be a big help. The Falcons team is also fairly young with just three seniors, which should make it easier for the team to adjust to her coaching style. The team grew by seven from last year to this one.
“I haven’t really butted heads with any of the girls, they’ve all been super supportive since day one,” Gladsjo said of her team. “I know it’s been a big change, there’s definitely a big learning curve with a new coach … but I would say I’m not going out there thinking I know everything.”
Gladsjo points out several obvious differences in Washington and Alaska softball.
“I haven’t had to share one facility with two softball teams, two baseball teams, two soccer teams — which is how we practice in the fieldhouse,” Gladsjo said. “This is our first week on actual dirt, and we play this week. There’s just been a lot of challenges, but I feel like the girls take it in stride.”
JDHS softball also plays this weekend. The Crimson Bears head to Sitka for contests with the Wolves today and Saturday.
Lexie Razor, a Juneau-Douglas High School math teacher, takes over head coaching duties from Dave Massey for the JDHS softball team. Learn more about Razor in the Empire Sports section issue next week.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Gladsjo teaches at Glacier Valley Elementary. She teaches at Mendenhall River Community School. This article has been updated to reflect the change. The Empire regrets the error.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.