SHS Slow and Fast-pitch Softball Coaches and Brothers Build a Legacy
Brothers and softball coaches Jason and James Lingo have left their mark on Southmoore High School. Both slow-pitch and fast-pitch teams are consistent yearly championship contenders with slow-pitch winning their most recent championship in 2022 and fast-pitch in 2021.
by Westmoore senior TK Hadden
MOORE, Okla. (April 4 , 2023) – From Vinita, Oklahoma, brothers Jason and James Lingo have left their mark on Southmoore High School softball. Both slow-pitch and fast-pitch teams are consistently championship contenders, with slow-pitch winning their most recent championship in 2022 and fast-pitch in 2021.
“Yes, we have been to many championships in the last decade. I know currently, we have around 16 of our former players playing or coaching in college and succeeding at the next level,” Jason said.
The brothers started at Southmoore when it was first opened in 2008. Jason teaches physical education classes and is the SHS assistant athletic facilitator and he is the fast-pitch head coach. James teaches American Studies and is the slow-pitch head coach. Neither thought they would be working alongside each other at work every day.
“Did I ever think we would see each other every day or be working together? No, of course not, but the way that this has worked out has really been a blessing to get to coach these kids together. Yes, we have our disagreements in this office, but we always work them out and are usually on the same page,” said James.
Another part of the SHS softball dynasty is the continued interest and participation in the sport. The coaches thank Southmoore, the Moore Public Schools district and their community for helping to make that happen.
“Our success is really just a testament to the Southmoore students and the community. They have embraced the game of softball and they love it. Families sign up their kids and we have reaped the rewards of that.
"All the way from the top of the district with Dr. Romines and Mr. Fitzgerald, to the support we receive here at Southmoore; we appreciate how much our district does to give our student-athletes everything they need to be successful. So we're just lucky to be a small part of it all,” Jason said.
The brothers take advantage of the abundance of students by welcoming junior high players into the SaberCat family early, as well. They believe that the program is not just for the high school team, but that they should welcome the players from the junior highs that feed into SHS as they'll become SaberCats.
“It starts in the 7th grade. Our 7th and 8th-grade coaches and players are fantastic and they just carry on as they move into high school because they know about our expectations. When you have those high expectations, you tend to perform better. So when we say 'our program,' we are really talking about the junior high teams, too,” said James.
These expectations are nothing new to the brothers. One of their biggest expectations of their players is hard work. It is a value they learned as children and have shared with their SHS student-athletes.
“We have expectations of our kids. We expect them to play a certain way, act a certain way, and even practice in a certain way. That is never going to change, no matter what our record is. Whether we’re 20-5 or 5-20, we will always expect a max effort and the best they have to give. Our kids know that, they like having expectations set, and they embrace the challenge,” Jason said.
Even with the championships, collegiate success, and the expectations that created them, Jason and James recognize what they believe to be the most essential part of the program.
“It’s not about us; it’s about the kids. It will always be about the kids,” Jason said.
Learn more about Southmoore High School here.