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Courtney Dickens taking over the Picayune softball program

Courtney Dickens has moved up from her assistant coach role to become the new head coach of the Picayune Lady Maroon Tide varsity softball team after former coach Kristi Mitchell took the position of principal at Picayune Memorial High School.

After serving under Mitchell for 11 years Dickens will now be in charge of the program she once participated in as a player. Dickens even helped the team during her college days by coming back to Picayune after attending classes at the University of Southern Mississippi to lend her knowledge to the younger athletes.

Now the journey has come full circle with Dickens taking over for her mentor to lead the program she’s proud to be a part of. “It’s hard to find the words I guess because I feel like no matter what I say it won’t describe what it means to me to take over the program,” Dickens said.

Becoming head coach for Picayune was a dream Dickens had even since her playing days in high school, so to make that dream a reality means a lot. The new head coach has been a staple of the team and community for over a decade now and she’s looking to bring her passion for Picayune with her as she embraces her new role.

“I’ve always had a lot of pride in Picayune, and I say all the time if you cut me I’ll bleed maroon. I feel like that still,” Dickens said.

Dickens knows the ins and outs of the program having played in it and been coaching in it for over a decade. Her familiarity will be a benefit as she looks to take over the role of head coach from Mitchell. She understands the significance of the position and the expectations that come with it.

“(Coach Mitchell) likes to win and I like to win too, but she’s also taught me that sometimes it’s not always about winning. (It’s about) teaching kids to win at life and not just a softball game. You have to be a good example for them, a good role model,” Dickens said.

Dickens said Mitchell treated all of her athletes the same whether they were a star player or a benchwarmer.

That sort of understanding and mindset is something the new coach has picked up over the years, so she’s planning on keeping that aspect of the program the same.

“She was a very good mentor to me, even as a player she always pushed me to do my best. Not just with me, she does that for every player it doesn’t matter (about their) athletic ability. She treated them all the same and I want to be that way too,” Dickens said.