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Softball field re-named in honor of 'legendary' coach

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Polson High School unveiled its newly renamed softball field in honor of one of the school’s most decorated coaches.

The Larry Smith Field, as it is now named, commemorates Smith’s 30-plus years of service that helped shape local softball history in the Mission Valley. The ceremony was held before Tuesday evening’s home game. 

“This is a great honor,” said coach Smith. “I am really proud, especially on behalf of all the athletes and softball families that came up through the program with me.” 

In front of family, friends and former players, Polson Athletic Director Don Toth presented Smith with the sign that’ll hang at the field.

“It is difficult to think of Lady Pirate Softball without thinking of Coach Larry. He is an iconic figure here,” said one Lady Pirate fan.

Smith led Polson to their first Class A state title in 2001 and followed that up with another title in 2002. The Lady Pirates also won titles in 2004 and 2007 and won three consecutive titles in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

During his 30-plus years of coaching, Smith led the Lady Pirates to two state runner-up finishes, two state third-place trophies, 11 Northwestern A conference trophies and 28 winning seasons. He was also named the Montana Coaches Association Coach of the Year nine times and was inducted into the Montana Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2017.

Although Coach Larry left the coaching staff after his retirement in 2018, he remains an active member of the Lady Pirate family by keeping up with the players and coming out to nearly every home and away game.

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