Wewahitchka Softball, now a powerhouse in the sport, is continuing the greatness started years ago under one coach, Charles “Scootsie” Fortner. The softball field was dedicated to him and his legacy Tuesday night.
“His motto was give me a pitcher and a catcher and two runs and I’ll win a ball game,” Wewahitchka head softball coach Tony Price said. “That was his motto.”
Fortner had a passion for softball. In his 28 years of coaching, he won 542 games, led the team to 12 district titles and seven final four appearances. In 2007 under his direction, the Gators were state champions.
“He’s here at every practice, he was here at everything, you could call Coach Fortner on a Saturday and say hey wanna got to the field and hit and he’d be 20 minutes before you were there,” Gators softball player Cyrina Madrid said. “He was just.. he was a great coach.”
Fortner had a lot of great qualities about him, but his players remember him best for one thing.
“He had a lot of sayings, he always had different saying for the girls, and every year he would create a T-shirt with a saying on the back of it and we always kept a lot of those,” former player and coach Judith Husband said. “A lot of people remember that about him.”
Some of those sayings he used were play like a champion, believe in yourself and go hard or go home. But with all the cliche sayings put aside, he cared about the girls he coached.
“Yeah he was one of those coaches that you always knew when you did something he was gonna tell you straight up how you did it, what was wrong that you did,” Madrid said. “But he was also, he would be your biggest fan and your biggest critique.”
And even though he watched the dedication from the sky and not the dugout, his legacy will live on for generations and generations to come.