Passing of softball coach hits close to home


Photo contributed by Hicks

Junior Allie Hicks stands on first base alongside Steve Montgomery during a softball game. Montgomery passed away on May 2.

Andrew Tapp, Reporter

“He brought back the love I had for the game,” junior Alexis Pendleton said. “He made me want to be there. He made me want to go out there and smash the ball. He always knew just what to say.”

On Monday May 2, Steve Montgomery passed away due to pancreatic cancer that had spread to his liver. He was an SHS graduate from the class of 1972 and was later inducted into the SHS Hall of Fame in 1994. He later returned to SHS to coach girls softball for 25 years both as the head coach and as an assistant coach under his son and current softball coach Scott Montgomery.

“He was a great motivator,” Scott Montgomery said. “He knew how to push the right buttons and get (the girls) to do what they needed to do and get the most out of their ability.”

Upon hearing the news, Pendleton says that she was upset about it and cried.

“At the same time I was kind of happy for him in a way because he wasn’t suffering anymore,” Pendleton said. “I could just tell he was suffering every time I saw him. He seemed really weak and he was always cold which didn’t help anything.”

Through his 25 years of coaching, Pendleton isn’t the only girl Steve Montgomery affected. Many other girls, such as sophomore Erin Curran, also had their lives changed because of what Steve Montgomery did for them.

“Our coach kind of told us it was going to happen,” Curran said. “We had a game and he told us that he wasn’t doing well, and then after (he passed) it was sad just realizing that we’re not going to see him anymore.”

Steve Montgomery’s passing has brought the team closer together and given them a cause to play for. He brought the good out of all the girls and made a bad situation positive. There is no doubt that Montgomery had an effect on these girls’ lives both on and off the field.
When asked what would be the last thing she could say to Montgomery, Pendleton said, “I would say thank you, honestly. He had a big impact on me in general. He was super important to me and I don’t think he realized that.