The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

May 22, 2013

Waukomis’ Heasley earns Hall of Fame honor

By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Call Betsy Heasley a double Hall of Famer.

The retired Waukomis coach, who was inducted into the Oklahoma Softball Hall of Fame in 2009, will be joining the Oklahoma Slow-Pitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame June 15 at the slow-pitch all-state games in Norman.

“It’s quite an honor,’’ Heasley said. “It kind of validates what I have done.’’

Heasley, in 10 seasons at Waukomis, took the Lady Chiefs to the 2003 state tournament where they upset No. 1-ranked Ripley in the first round, only to lose in the semifinals.

“I would have liked to have made state one more time,’’ said Heasley, who retired from WHS last summer. “I was proud of what I accomplished.’’

She coached three all-staters — Jenni Honeyman (2002), Sara Harmon (2003) and Linda McElveen (2004), but said she couldn’t single out any one player.

“It was the kids who made me successful,’’ Heasley said. “I had kids who put out the effort in the summer. They just didn’t show up during the season. We worked at it all year. You can’t pin it on just one kid. I remember them all for different reasons.’’

Heasley doesn’t measure her success by wins and losses.

“What made it worth it was a kid that may have fought you while they were there, tell you that you meant something to me,’’ Heasley said. “It means a lot knowing you were a factor in their lives.’’

Heasley still gets emotional about Jessica Mack, who was killed in an automobile accident in the summer of 2005 before her senior year. Area coaches voted her as a special mention selection for the Enid News & Eagle All-Northwest Oklahoma team.

“It still upsets me to talk about that,’’ Heasley said. “She was just a good kid and a good player. It was like losing family.’’

She said she missed coaching, but she isn’t away from the game.

Heasley kept books at the WHS games for Emery Lamunyon, her successor. She also filled in as a junior high coach at Enid.

“I missed being around the kids and the coaches,’’ Heasley said. “I’m pretty good friends with some of the coaches and I still see them, but it’s a little different.’’

She is coaching an 8-under Waukomis team this summer and helping with a 10-under team from Kremlin-Hillsdale.

“I’m not done coaching,’’ she said. “I went to see Waukomis play their first summer game this week. They are still going to be my kids.’’

Heasley currently teaches adaptive physical education to special needs students at four Enid elementary schools. She volunteers with Special Olympics and coaches in the Miracle League on Saturdays.

“It’s really rewarding,’’ Heasley said.

Heasley is scheduled to be inducted between the small  and middle (sized) school games.