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Skinner steps down as head softball coach at Barnesville

BARNESVILLE — There isn’t much that Leslie Skinner loves more than Barnesville and softball.

Her family, however, is one of them.

And that love won out in the long run as Skinner tendered her resignation to Barnesville Exempted Schools Superintendent Angie Hannahs as the Shamrocks’ softball coach after an eight-year stint on the staff with the last five coming as head coach.

“Anytime you’re leaving your dream job, it’s tough,” Skinner said. “I was coaching and teaching in my hometown. What could be better?

Skinner’s wife, Wendy, has taken a job in the gulf coast of Florida and the couple will be re-locating there in the coming weeks or months.

“Sometime between now and the Pumpkin Festival is the plan,” Skinner said. “Some things have to fall in place and if they do, (the move) could come as early next week.”

Skinner has been actively seeking employment in education and eventually could see herself getting back into coaching if the opportunity presented itself.

“It seemed like every argument I could make became a moot point when you really took a step back,” Skinner said. “If coaching presented itself, would love to continue to coach, but at the same time, I might just try to get settled in, build some relationships and see where that takes me.”

Skinner’s two stepdaughters — one of whom is a junior at Kent State and the other will be a senior at Barnesville — were encouraging to the couple of their move.

“Our older daughter has no desire to remain in Ohio (past college) and our younger daughter will remain at Barnesville and finish high school,” Skinner said. “Both kids encouraged us. It’s a great opportunity for everyone involved.”

The biggest issue Skinner and her wife had to sift through was giving up her Barnesville jobs, which she called her “dream job.”

“I got brought to tears when I told Angie Hannahs my decision. She knows my passion for this place and how difficult this decision was for me,” Skinner said. “I am definitely going to miss this place.”

Under Skinner’s watch, the Shamrocks enjoyed their best season in 2018 when they finished 20-8, won the sectional and played in the OVAC Tournament.

“That was a special group of seniors (in 2018),” Skinner said. “It was especially nice for me because I had my niece on that team, a cousin on that team and Sarah Powell, who I went to school with both her dad and mom. It was just a special group and season.”

She was also proud of this season because of how the team came together.

Despite many new faces in key positions, the Shamrock strung together a 15-13 campaign.

“I think we shocked some people with how we did this year,” Skinner said.

Skinner took the time to call each player on her 2019 roster, individually, to inform them of her decision, so they heard directly from her.

“The seniors (to be) took it hard,” Skinner said. “I am going to miss everything about (coaching at Barnesville). The support I’ve received from Angie Hannahs, (former A.D.) Mark Cook, Heather Hanson at the Belmont Career Center, Richard Shoene at the Career Center, Matt Johnson, Nikki McEndree and Ted Hanlon has been awesome. I really can’t thank those people enough.”

Skinner, who owns four degrees, including two bachelor’s from Ohio State, a master’s from Nova Southeastern and a MBA from the University of Akron, also coached at the junior high level for the Shamrocks during her career.

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