PHOENIXVILLE - Jennie Moore's path in the athletic world has taken her full circle back to her roots.
Moore has taken over duties as the new head softball coach at Phoenixville Area High School, which is where she starred herself for four years in both softball and field hockey and then again also at Ursinus College.
Moore spent four years as the assistant/junior varsity softball coach for the Phantoms under former longtime head coach Joe Bogus. She also spends the fall months as the varsity field hockey coach at neighboring Spring-Ford High School, where she is employed fulltime as a mathematics teacher.
"This is great,' said Moore. "It is definitely a great opportunity for me. I have been involved at the school for a long time, and I learned a lot from coach Bogus.'
With the difficult, snowy winter we have experienced in the northeast, Phoenixville's early games remain up in the air, based on field conditions at home and on the road. The Phantoms do have two turf fields to use for practice, and Phoenixville made good use of those facilities all last week to stay outdoors for workouts.
Moore is looking forward to working with this group of players, many of whom began their scholastic careers with her as junior varsity players. She also knows most of the varsity returnees so the only real new faces for her to learn are the incoming freshman players.
"I have a great rapport with the kids we have now,' said Moore, who played the shortstop position while at Phoenixville and for Ursinus.
Moore realizes there is an adjustment period for her as she assumes the varsity softball job as opposed to the junior varsity role. The varsity pace of the game, she said, is much faster than junior varsity.
Even though the sports are different, Moore will be able to utilize her coaching experience at the varsity level at Spring-Ford field hockey now that she is also the head girls softball coach at Phoenixville. The schools and sports are different, but many of the administrative tasks required of a varsity coach remain the same.
"I have the same responsiblities that come with the job,' said Moore. "The last three years really helped me a lot being at Spring-Ford.'
The 2014 version of the softball Phantoms features many girls who feature a lot of speed. So Moore wants to use that speed and quickness as much as possible against the many top foes in the Pioneer Athletic Conference.
"We have a lot of speed, and I want to utilize that factor in the games as much as we can,' said Moore. "We will play small ball. Overall, speed is something I want to try to utilize in strategies since we have it this year. It is one of the huge assets we have this year, and we want to try to capitalize on it.'
Former Boyertown High School assistant softball coach Bob Swier, a Spring-Ford product, has joined Moore at Phoenixville. Another Phoenixville graduate, Mark Ferko, who was part of Phoenixville's staff a year ago, will now serve as the junior varsity coach.