Lohman named top softball coach

Published 3:58 am Wednesday, June 11, 2008

By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
This year, Southside softball enjoyed its most successful season in the nine-year history of the program.
The Seahawks won their first Atlantic Conference Championship, reached the third round of the NCHSAA Class 1-A State Softball Championships and set a school record with 19 wins.
And the mastermind behind it all was eighth-year coach John Lohman, the 2008 Washington Daily News’ Softball Coach of the Year.
Last season, Lohman guided the Seahawks to a 14-7 record, including a 9-5 record in conference play, but Southside narrowly missed out on its first conference crown, finishing one-game behind Williamston for the conference title.
This year, the Seahawks used last season’s shortcomings as fuel to win this year’s championship.
The Seahawks certainly took out last season’s frustrations on their conference opponents in 2008. Southside blew through the Atlantic/Albemarle Conference with an 11-1 mark, allowing just nine earned runs in those 12 games.
The Seahawks recorded nine shutouts during Conference play and in the midst of their 12 inter-conference games, gave up just one run in a 10-game stretch.
The team’s success also led to individual success. The Seahawks had eight players named to the All-Atlantic Conference team, and pitcher Gabby Cilluffo was named the NCHSAA Class 1-A, District 1 Pitcher of the Year.
Southside’s success didn’t end with conference play. The Seahawks were runner-ups in the Washington Daily News Easter Invitational and advanced further than they ever had in the state playoffs.
In their state playoff opener, Southside romped Columbia 17-0, and then beat Camden 6-0. However, their season came to an unexpected end in the third round, as Northside came into Chocowinity and pushed one run across the plate to shock Southside 1-0.
While it was a disappointing finish for the Seahawks, the loss still couldn’t spoil all that they had accomplished in 2008.