Back in the saddle

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 13, 2000

SOUTH POINT – Bob Lester hasn’t been coaching forever.

Saturday, May 13, 2000

SOUTH POINT – Bob Lester hasn’t been coaching forever.

Email newsletter signup

It just seems that way.

When Lester returned to coach baseball this spring for the South Point Pointers, it marked his fourth stint as coach covering five decades.

Lester made his mark initially as the head football coach at South Point, but also coached baseball. When he retired from teaching several years ago, he put up his whistle for good.

Or so he thought.

"Back in January (Superintendent) Rick Waggoner called me and asked me if I would come back. I told him I really didn’t do anything in the spring and that I’d take it for a year and see how it went," said Lester.

"I was playing golf with Bobby (Pullem) and I asked him, ‘You want to coach again?’ He said okay. It’s been enjoyable."

South Point lost all but one starter from last season’s Ohio Valley Conference championship team that went 20-3. Lester was coming out of retirement with a team many critics expected to finish in the middle of the pack.

"I was told we would be a .500 ball club," said Lester. "I figured there wouldn’t be any kind of pressure, and then we got into the heat of things and I got a little nervous."

The Pointers not only got in the heat of things, but ended up sharing the OVC championship with Fairland.

An 8-7 come-from-behind win over Jackson on Thursday gave the Pointers the Division II sectional title and a berth in the district Tuesday at Chillicothe against Logan Elm.

"I think the big key was our pitching. We knew we had Jared Waggoner back, but it was a question mark after that. We had six complete games our first six games," said Lester. "Patrick Panell and Brian Cremeans have pitched well, and our hitting stated coming through about the middle of the season."

His comeback also brought a milestone. A win over Fairland a couple of weeks ago was No. 200 for Lester who now sports a career mark of 210-65.

"Your goal is to win games, but I don’t do it for any certain number of wins. That’s not the reason you coach," said Lester.