The count on Evans softball coach Colette Cassedy did not start until five years ago.
Parents and those around the program wanted to know Cassedy's win-loss total for a plaque going in a facility being built above the Knights' softball field.
Cassedy, who has been coaching Evans softball since 1989, did not know her totals. At the end of each season, she had tossed that season's stats and game information in a box in her attic.
Armed with a calculator, Cassedy dug through the records and compiled a number, excluding ties. Later in 2004, based on those numbers, Cassedy was recognized for her 300th win after the Knights beat Lakeside.
Someone must have continued keeping count.
After the Knights opened the 2009 season by beating South Gwinnett 7-0, Cassedy was presented with a plaque recognizing her 400th career victory.
Assistant coach Des Kayea had asked Cassedy about when she earned her 300th win on the trip to Atlanta to play in the South Gwinnett tournament. But Cassedy did not realize anyone had been keeping up.
"I was shocked up there, because a parent went out and gave me a plaque," Cassedy said. "I went, 'What is this for? How did you know?'"
Cassedy jokingly wrote off the milestone as proof only that she had been coaching a long time. Cassedy has taught at Columbia Middle School for 24 years. This is her 21st season as Evans' softball coach.
The Evans High and Georgia Southern graduate said some of her methods have changed since she started coaching, but not her no-nonsense style.
"What's expected of the girls has not changed -- how they're to act, behave and the discipline and all that -- that's all the same," she said. "I think I get in trouble sometimes for it, because it's kind of old school."
Cassedy once had an old school approach to softball. When Georgia high schools switched to fastpitch in 1997, Cassedy was against it. She felt slow pitch created better defensive players since every ball is put in play. She knew of at least one area coach to step down because of the change.
But Cassedy's response was to learn as much as she could about the new format. She knew some of the style from watching baseball growing up. She called Atlanta coaches who already had made the switch to fastpitch and picked up as much as she could.
Cassedy said the fastpitch background of Kayea, who joined the staff seven years ago, also helped. And she has come around on the concept of the type of players fastpitch produces.
"I think you do have talented defensive players in fastpitch as you would in slowpitch," Cassedy said. "At the time, your mind-set, I guess you're afraid of change and not wanting to go there."
Cassedy said she has never really considered going anywhere else, except for a phone call made to inquire about an opening at Lakeside years ago. But she did not like the thought of something new after having been in her current situation for so long.
Cassedy's parents taught at Evans, and she said her goal had always been to one day teach at the high school. That part has not yet worked out, but the school seems glad to have her as a coach.
By Cassedy's recollection, since 1994, the Knights have been to the state playoffs every year but 2001.
"She's got one of the top programs in the state year-in, year out," said Evans athletic director Kevin Kenny, who has worked with Cassedy 12 years.
"I don't think there's a lot of coaches that get 400 victories. That says a lot about her program and what she's been able to accomplish throughout the years."
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