Archer leaves softball program in good hands
January 28, 2016
Vested in the program for a decade, he continued to raise the bar for a program that's become a legitimate powerhouse and dynasty in the Silver State.
After the Lady Wave softball team won back-to-back state titles to send former coach Phil Pinder off into the desert sunset, Bill Archer received the same treatment but we didn't know it until recently. Archer decided to hang up his coaching visor after taking over the team for the last three seasons that included consecutive state titles against Fernley.
Archer's experience with the program and understanding his team, inside and out, along with a strong coaching staff helped keep Fallon dominant, despite a shaky start to his brief head coaching career. Working under Tami Peel in the former 4A and then Pinder during the transition to the Division I-A, Archer helped maintain a level of intensity that his players thrived on, especially this past season when Fallon struggled in the regional tournament yet found a way to make it to state. With that second chance at redemption, Fallon roared back to win a state tournament in what would be Archer's final game of his career.
But he would be the first to tell you that the program was more than just him. He had a talented and dedicated coaching staff available to work with the players around the clock, if needed. Fallon had talented players, as well, but developing the underclassmen was one of Archer and his staff's strengths.
The biggest challenge he faced when he took over was finding a new No. 1 pitcher after Jill Pinder graduated. Fallon was still a contender even with grooming a freshman pitcher and transitioning a backup into the lead role.
The Lady Wave finished with a respectable 26-13 record in 2013 as Fallon won the regional tournament over Fernley. But the Vaqueros got the final say by winning the state championship.
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Archer and Fallon, though, got even — plus more.
Rileigh Ricken turned into a power pitcher — and hitter — during her senior season in 2014 and Miranda Ford rose up the challenge as a sophomore. Fallon knocked off Fernley in both the regional and state championship games. Then, it followed with a stronger season in 2015 by defeating Fernley again for the state title with sophomore Kayla Buckmaster leading the pitching staff and the offense hitting nearly .500 for the season.
Archer's overall record in three seasons ended at 79-33, including 50-11 against the Division I-A teams. Two regional titles and two state titles later, Archer will be absent when tryouts come next month as Fallon attempts the three-peat.
But if history means anything for the softball program, Fallon should be the team to beat this season with Tammie Shemenski now leading the club that is defending its state title.
Thomas Ranson can be contacted at email@example.com.