Cheney returns to lead Pirate softball

A familiar face is hoping to lead the Pirates softball crew back to the playoffs

Jim Cheney is back at the helm of the Pirates after being hired by the school last week.

A Port Angeles resident, Cheney served as head coach for the Pirates for three years (2003-2006). His teams went from 10 wins his first year to 20 his second year and 18 his third, when the Pirates qualified for the NWAACC softball tourney for the first time.

“I am very honored to be a part of P.C. fastpitch for a second run,” Cheney said in a school press release June 16. “I’ve had the opportunity to meet and talk with most of the returning players and I am familiar with the local recruits. So I’m excited with the level of talent that will be on the field in 2009.”

Cheney left the program in 2006 to spend more time with his family and to see his daughter Julia pitch for the University of Pennsylvania. He takes over the position vacated by Heather Sankey, who resigned after two years as head coach to pursue her master’s degree.

“We’re very happy to have Jim back,” said Rick Ross, Peninsula College director of athletics. “Coach Sankey did a nice job for us the last two years and is leaving him with a very solid team from which to build on. With Jim’s experience and his contacts in the local and regional softball community, I know the program will be in good hands.”

Cheney has 23 years of coaching experience under his belt, including two state championships, one regional championship and a fourth-place finish at the Junior Babe Ruth World Series with a 16-under team in 2001.

He is employed full time at Nippon Paper and will serve Peninsula College in a part-time status,” P.C. officials said.

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