WARRENSBURG-With Warrensburg High School's legendary softball coach Mary Ann Bump sidelined with a torn rotator cuff, her long-time assistant coach Brent Bertrand has stepped up to take her place, at least temporarily.
Brent Bertrand - for many years a Junior Varsity Softball coach at Warrensburg High - has taken over coaching the Varsity Softball squad for the 2011 season.
For 27 seasons, Bump has enjoyed considerable success with her softball teams, teaching local athletes the skills and subtleties of the game. In doing so, she's raised athletic standards in the region, sports observers have said.
Bertrand has been there all those years, backing up her coaching. He founded the Junior Varsity Softball program in 1980.
Since then, Bertrand has continued to coach the JV squads, except for several years during the mid-2000s when he stepped up for a temporary Varsity stint.
Bump's expertise, backed up by Bertrand's mentoring, has propelled Warrensburg teams to the state Softball finals for three successive years in the early and mid-1990s. Those campaigns were anchored by acclaimed pitcher Sara Rumrill's talent.
Throughout the last three decades, the patient, positive coaching approach of Bump and Bertrand has developed athletic talent in hundreds of girls, and in the process created a lot of lifetime memories for the students.
Monday, April 4, Bertrand gave a pep talk to his players after a lengthy practice.
"You guys really have to believe what you can do," he said. "Each one of you need to come in focused every day."
The practice included personalized batting instruction, which exemplifies his approach to developing talent, he said.
"I like to develop the particular strengths of each athlete, and then work with them on overcoming any minor problems they may have," he said.