The duo of Belinda and Shane ‘Jimmy’ Hendrix have made their mark on softball not only in the panhandle of Florida, but at the state and national level also. Their record at Chipola this season stands at 34-0 – PERFECTION! That includes 6-0 for the start of the conference season. They have two national championships since her arrival at Chipola 14 years ago and three state championships. She has been state coach of the year and National Coach of the Year. She has been named Panhandle Coach of the Year six times.
When you talk with ‘Mrs.’ as her players affectionately call her, it’s all about the team and their success. She is as media shy as any coach on the face of the earth. She leaves all the media fielding to her partner on the field and husband in life, Shane Hendrix.
Last week, Shane Hendrix was asked about what it feels like to be undefeated as this point in the season, “I guess it feels great to be undefeated. Now, we’re just taking it game by game, coming out and doing what we do and we’ve got a chance to win it. Being undefeated is great for the record and all that, but just getting into conference right now, we’re 4-0. We’re just looking ahead for tomorrow (Wednesday) when we play Gulf Coast. The kids are certainly deserving of being undefeated, they have put in a lot of work through the fall season and through the spring season. Now, I hope we’re not done with the work part and getting better each game and each day. Being ranked number one in the country is great, it’s good for Chipola, and it’s good for us. Really, unless you’re ranked number one at the end of the season, it really doesn’t mean to much. That’s what we’re going for.”
When asked about where they are in conference coach Hendrix stated, “We’re 6-0 in conference. We swept Northwest Florida on Tuesday (March 13) and Pensacola Saturday. Pensacola was 4-0. They swept Northwest and T.C.C.”
About facing the Chinese National Team coach Hendrix explained, “We got contacted a little while ago about hosting the Chinese National Team. They’re coming over, and they are trying to get some experience for the Olympics. Softball is getting back into the Olympics. They reached out and we told them we would play them, and that we would love to have them. We’re going to end up playing a double-header here at our place on March 28th at 2 and 4 p.m. This is the true Chinese National Team. It’s exciting for our kids to play some international kids, but also our internationals, it’s exciting for them to see the Chinese too.”
About the time frame of the games against the Chinese National Team being set up, Hendrix said, “About two weeks ago, so it was pretty quick. They called, and we set it up and we had a couple dates in our schedule that we could play and it happened to be one of their dates. Now we’re getting to play them.”
The Chipola team has a long way to go and ‘Mrs.’ is quick to remind them to take it one game at a time and that any 0-10 team taking the field has nothing to lose and a lot to gain by upsetting an undefeated team. It’s that thinking that has made Chipola softball the powerhouse it is today.