Katelyn Ross received the Under 40 award in 2019. (THE NEWS-FILES)

Katelyn Ross received the Under 40 award in 2019. (THE NEWS-FILES)

Maple Ridge coach nominated for Legend Rings’ Coach of the Year contest

Among 32 coaches from all over Northern America to win a custom ring

A Maple Ridge-based coach for the Pride 09 softball team has been nominated for Coach of the Year and stands a chance to win an exclusive ring.

Katelyn Ross, who is the head coach at the Garibaldi Softball Academy, which is a partnership between School District 42 and Ridge Meadows Minor Softball Association, and heads the Pride 09 Rep A team, has been nominated for the Coach of the Year contest held by Legend Rings.

The company makes championship rings for colleges and athletes and launched this contest in February. This is the second year when the contest has been held. Last year, due to COVID, the company was not able to host the event but plan to make this an annual event to be held during March Madness, said TJ Fairall, the Legacy Operations Manager.

“This means a lot to me; thanks to all the players and coaches who felt I deserved this and nominated me. I feel honoured, and I’m going up against a handful of amazing coaches,” said Ross.

Ross is one of the 32 coaches nominated for the award this year, and the only coach from B.C. The one other coach from Canada is from Edmonton, while the rest are from all over the U.S.A., for different sports, explained Fairall.

“I am inspired watching the athletes work harder and harder to make it to the next level every time they train, and it’s just nice to know parents, other coaches and athletes appreciate the effort I put into the athletes,” said Ross, adding, “I think the biggest thing about being a great coach is igniting the purpose the players want to play in the first place; for the love of the game, and providing a space for the athletes to practice without the fear of failure or being punished if they fail.”

Ross, was one of the first players from the Ridge Meadows Minor Softball Association to receive an international scholarship. She played for two years for a division 1 junior college in Kansas and for two years with Northwestern Oklahoma State University. She has also received several awards such as the Golden Glove awards, All Conference awards, Stolen Base records and On Base Average records. She also competed in an NJCAA national tournament.

Ross was also named the Citizen of the Year in the under-40 category by Maple Ridge Community Foundation in 2019.

The voting began Mar. 7. To vote, people can go to the Legend Rings’ Instagram and Twitter profiles and cast their votes.

”An event we love to put on for athletes and parents to recognize coaches who have helped them grow and compete at a high level. The winner will receive a custom ring in a display case,” said Fairall.

The winner will be announced by the end of March.

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Katelyn Ross/Special to The News