Friday, March 07, 2014 2:15 PM
Published on: Thursday, June 27, 2013
By Brandy L. Simms
A Montgomery County product is replacing a legendary figure at Sherwood.
Ashley Barber-Strunk, a 2002 Richard Montgomery graduate, takes over the Sherwood softball program following the departure of longtime head coach Pat Flanagan who stepped down in May after nearly two decades at the helm.
Flanagan compiled over 300 wins during a tenure that lasted nearly four decades coaching softball in Montgomery County including 17 years at Sherwood.
Barber-Strunk described the opportunity to replace a county legend as “nervous but exciting” but “this is something I’ve been waiting for,” she said.
Barber-Strunk spent a year coaching junior varsity softball at Walter Johnson before leaving to coach the Sherwood junior varsity team four years ago.
During the past two seasons, Flanagan guided the Warriors to back-to-back Class 4A state championships. Sherwood defeated Chesapeake, 1-0, in 2012 and this year registered a 5-0 victory over Glen Burnie to capture the program’s 42nd consecutive win.
Although Sherwood graduated Kelsey Lineberger, Megan McDonough and Amelia Naik, the Warriors return a solid core of players led by rising senior pitcher Meggie Dejter, a Villanova recruit, and rising junior Nicole Stockinger.
“Stockinger is going to be elite,” said Barber-Strunk. “She’s willing to do anything.”
Sherwood has appeared in the state tournament five times since 2007 and made three state title game appearances in the last four years.
“I don’t want them to drop at all,” said Barber-Strunk. “I want them to play to the highest level possible.”