KEARNEY — For a second consecutive year, the Kearney High softball team will be led by an interim head coach.

On Friday, Kearney High assistant principal and activities director Ryan Hogue announced the hiring of Barbara Wegner as the school’s softball coach.

A year ago, Hogue hired Bryan Shepherd as the interim head coach. Shepherd was expected to remain in the role this fall before stepping down earlier this year.

"The girls made some great strides last season to improve as individual softball players and as a team," Hogue said. "With Coach Wegner taking the interim head coaching position, I believe the 2019 Bearcat softball team will have the opportunity to compete with everyone on our schedule."

Wegner was the head softball coach at Grand Island Senior High for six years and took the Islanders to the state tournament for the first time in the history of the program. She also started the Explosions/Scorpions program as well as the Stingers summer program in Grand Island.

Wegner played softball at Grand Island Senior High School when it was a co-op program with GISH, Grand Island Central Catholic and Grand Island Northwest. She played college softball at Wayne State College where she was a pitcher and infielder.

The Bearcats went 17-22 last season, which was their second consecutive losing season.

"Kearney High School is loaded with talented softball players, and I am honored to get to work with these fine young ladies," Wegner said.