New Liberty coach returns to his alma mater
March 12, 2013
By Christina Corrales-Toy
The Liberty High School softball team’s first-year coach, Zach Bartholomew, is rather comfortable donning the Patriots’ signature blue and green.
That’s because he wore it himself as a 2004 Liberty High School graduate and was a member of the 2003 baseball team that won a 3A state title.
“When I heard that this position was open, I said ‘I’ve got to get this job. I’ve got to get back in blue,’” he said.
Bartholomew spent the past five years as the junior varsity fastpitch coach at Enumclaw High School before deciding he was ready to oversee his own softball program. It was just a happy coincidence that his alma mater was looking for a new coach.
“Everything just seemed to work out perfectly. I got lucky,” he said. “It was a great feeling for me to be back here and give back to the place that gave a lot to me.”
The Liberty grad inherits a team that finished ninth at state last year and has some key players returning, including a slew of all-league performers in third baseman Liza Van Camp, middle infielder Joshilynn Wolff and catcher Miranda Bukantz.
Keeping players healthy will be an important key this season, since Liberty had only 19 girls turn out for the team, barely enough to field two squads.
“It’s a little rough right now, because the softball numbers are a little low this year, and it’s not just here,” Bartholomew said. “We’re running with squads of 10 and nine right now, just trying to maintain two teams.”
The transition to a new coach should be a seamless one, Bartholomew said, since his coaching style is similar to his predecessor, Brian Hartman, who was actually his baseball coach as a freshman.
“I just want to continue that legacy,” he said. “Liberty sports in general, they are held with a lot of respect.”