November 28, 2021

Alberts resigns from L-S softball post

Long-time Hawk coach wants to spend more time with family

When Stacey Alberts took over the Lynnville-Sully softball program, she had two bats and $150 in the team bank account.

Sixteen years later, she turned in her letter of resignation after guiding the Hawks to seven state tournaments and nine conference championships.

“It’s been a good run. It wasn’t in a good place when I started. It’s in a great place now,” Alberts said. “I feel really good about where we were and where we’ve come and where it is going. I think it is time for someone else with new energy to take over the program and keep the momentum going.”

Alberts took over a program that had several winless seasons prior to her arrival. The Hawks won three games her first summer at the helm, but it took her just four seasons to guide L-S to its first state tournament.

Overall, Alberts was 359-167 in her 16 years. The Hawks’ best finish came in 2019 when they placed third. She guided them to fifth multiple times, too.

“I have seen it go full circle,” Alberts said. “It’s been an incredible journey. The decision was incredibly difficult.

“When we threw our last pitch this past summer, I didn’t know that it would be my last game. I kind of questioned if it was my time or not my time. I took my time before I left the field.”

That field on the L-S campus was built from scratch by Alberts and the community. When she started, the Hawks were playing games on the city field.

“The facilities in transitioning from a shared field at the City of Sully to a field at Lynnville-Sully was a $250,000 project that was executed with many hands and volunteers leading the way,” Alberts said. “We built the field from scratch. We had nothing. The program was winless for several years before I got here. It took a whole community and maybe some leadership to guide the girls in the right direction.”

Family was a big reason Alberts decided now is the best time to step away. Her oldest son Braden is a senior and her youngest, Colton, is in seventh grade.

She also has her husband Scott, who was her assistant softball coach for 10 years before taking over the L-S baseball program four years ago.

“I started the program 16 years ago and it was about the same time I started my business (Total Rehab),” Alberts said. “Braden was 1 at that time.

“I think my kids have been incredibly supportive with everything I have done with work and with softball. I have sacrificed a lot of time with them to give to others.”

The Hawks were 24-9 in what turned out to be Alberts’ final season this past summer. They went a combined 47-12 in 2019 and 2020, both seasons in which the year ended at the state tournament.

L-S also was 39-6 in 2013, 36-2 in 2014 and 39-3 in 2015. Those seasons all ended at the state tournament, too. Even in years that didn’t end at the state tournament, the Hawks didn’t win fewer than 17 games in any of the past 13 seasons.

To be great at anything takes time and commitment. And unfortunately Alberts’ commitment to softball meant less time for her family.

“This isn’t a three-month sport. If you want to do well, you have to invest 10 months a year,” Alberts said. “I loved doing it. But this is (Braden’s) final year, and if I’m not there for my son, then I will look back and regret it.

“It’s time for me to be a Mom and really try to enjoy this year with my sons and help them achieve whatever they want to achieve moving forward.”

Alberts ended her tenure as an eight-time conference coach of the year and a six-time district coach of the year.

She played in three state championship games and won one as a prep player in Minnesota and was part of three national tournament teams at Central College.

The Hawks have had 32 kids recognized at the all-state level, 54 at the all-district level and 70-plus at the first team all-conference level. Before Alberts became head coach, the program had just one.

“That’s the part that most people may not understand,” Alberts said. “You can have a year, but to have a program where your successful year over year over year, it takes a while to position yourself where you really can give yourself a chance to compete at a very high level.

“My kids have been incredibly patient while (Scott and I) both did these adventures. It’s time for me to invest in them now.”