Chris Glenn helped turn Hughesville’s softball program around when he took on his first high school coaching job 11 years ago. He then went to Jersey Shore and led the Bulldogs to two district championships in his first three seasons there.
But it was in Montgomery that Glenn found his true home. It was there that he, along with pitching coach Harry Overdorf, helped a program that had been dormant for a few years become one of the best in the state.
Glenn will never take credit for Montgomery’s success. He diverts all the praise to the players. Make no mistake, though, he’s a big reason Montgomery is where he is, standing tall as one of the top two Class A teams in the state.
Glenn, also the District 4 Umpires Chairman, once said his dream was to coach and umpire a state championship game. Well, he’s halfway there as Montgomery (21-4) takes on DuBois County Catholic for the state crown Thursday morning at Penn State’s Beard Field.
“At every practice; every game, the coach asks us in the huddle: “What can we do better?” He says we can improve every day and then we go out and work in training to keep improving. pitcher Faith Persing said after Monday’s 9-0 semifinal win over Glendale. “They are a huge asset in our victory and our success.”
Montgomery had little history until 2008 when he first reached the state tournament. This team coached by Craig Weaver Sr. went from strength to strength and reached the 2010 state championship. The program, however, struggled from the middle of the last decade and lasted seven years before winning another playoff game. Unsurprisingly, that drought ended in Glenn’s freshman year when he led the young Red Raiders to the district playoffs and semifinals.
It was the start of a rise that has yet to stop with Montgomery nearly reaching the top of the state. In Glenn’s sophomore year, the Raiders reached their first district final and state tournament since 2010. Montgomery went on to win the program’s second district title last season and repeated as district champion for the first time two weeks ago.
Now Montgomery is going where only this 2010 team has ever been. It’s the best four-year run in program history and while he’d rather hide in the shadows and let the players get the credit, Glenn made a big difference.
The same goes for Overdorf, who has become one of the region’s top pitching coaches. Under his tutelage, Emily Snyder thrived in 2018-19 before Persing became one of the state’s top pitchers. They not only helped these Raiders grow as players, but also become a single unit.
“It seems like when you’re down, someone else takes over for her. That’s how you win. said Glenn. “It’s the whole team concept. I’m tickled with this.
“They really showed us how important it is to be a team and to work as a team, and that it’s not individual,” said right fielder Jenna Waring. “I can’t even count how many times the coach (Glenn) has told us individual stats don’t matter and if that’s the kind of player you are then we’re not going to. I think it’s very important that we play and work as a team.
Unsurprisingly, all of the Raiders have made an impact this season. Nine starters produced hits in the quarterfinal win over Faith Christian and eight did so yesterday. Whenever asked about herself, Montgomery’s players always point out how valuable their teammates are. It’s a family atmosphere and the coaches have played a major role in creating it.
What Glenn and Overdorf have done goes beyond the field as well. They care as much about their players for what they do off the pitch as what they do on it. Montgomery has been hit hard with injuries this season, but both coaches have always been in the corner of their players, cheering them on, uplifting them and doing their best.
“When I got injured Chris said it was fine and he told me the team was there for me and I would always be a big part of it. On seniors night Harry took me to away and said I was going to bat because I deserved it. said Sammy Ulrich, who was expected to be out all season with a torn ACL before returning to the United States. “They were both very supportive of me and that helped me a lot.”
It’s an extremely talented team. When these 10 seniors were playing in Little League and other youth levels, they generated a buzz. Something good was happening, thought a lot.
Yet to bring out the best in this team needed a stable leader, someone who knows softball and understands people. Montgomery got that when he hired Glenn and Overdorf. Take them and Montgomery probably won’t play Thursday.
Talk about a hiring home run.
“They are awesome,” Attention. “I love these two guys so much.”