Ashley Hilton is in her first season with the Desoto Central softball program and looks forward to the challenge of coaching this successful team. She recognizes that this is a new season with new challenges, and past opponents may have an ax to grind against them. Hilton believes the one thing that will define the Lady Jags this year is their toughness, and this team must play harder and tougher than ever before.
A native of Enterprise, Alabama, Hilton has played softball since she was 8 years old. She is a graduate of Enterprise High School where she excelled in softball, basketball and volleyball. While in high school, Hilton helped lead her softball team to two state appearances and four playoff appearances. Hilton was named a Final Four Player of the Year for the Southeast Sun, a Top Twelve Player of the Year for the Wiregrass Area, and represented Enterprise High School in the Alabama North/South softball game. Hilton held the homerun record for Enterprise High School, until her little sister, Sara, broke that record four years later.
Hilton attended the University of Mississippi where she played softball under Coach Missy Dickerson. In 2007, they earned 11 SEC wins, which tied for the most ever in a softball season at Ole Miss. Hilton graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a minor in English, and Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She taught in the Oxford School District and coached softball and volleyball. Coach Hilton was instrumental in organizing and coaching the Lady Landsharks travel teams out of Oxford, Mississippi as well.
Currently, Coach Hilton teaches Accelerated English, Senior English, and Sociology at Desoto Central. She believes that cultivating effective communication, work ethic, and character skills in her students and athletes, will not only serve them in the classroom and on the softball field, but will empower them to become productive citizens and leaders in the community.
Paige McKinney is in her first year of coaching for the Desoto Central softball team. Prior to coming back to her alma mater, McKinney attended The University of Mississippi, where she was named the Scholar Athlete of the Year at the 2018 Rebel Choice Awards. Coach McKinney was the only Rebel to start all 57 games in 2018, and during her senior season she was ranked third on the team with .288 batting average. During McKinney’s time at Ole Miss, she started at five different positions defensively and at some point played every position on the field, excluding the pitcher and catcher. In 2017, Paige was the second leading hitter on the team in SEC play, and she helped lead her team to win the SEC Tournament. Paige finished her career as an Ole Miss Rebel who ranked sixth all-time with 50 stolen bases.
McKinney was a 2014 graduate of Desoto Central High School, where she was a four-year letter winner for the Jaguars. Paige was also a three-time all-state selection her sophomore, junior and senior year, and she was named to the Mississippi Dandy Dozen for The Clarion Ledger her senior year. Coach McKinney was also a Mississippi High School Athletics Association Fast Pitch Fab 15 as a sophomore, junior and senior. For both her junior and senior year, McKinney led the Jaguars in hits, average runs, RBIs, at bats and triples. To this day, Paige holds the school batting average record, and she was the second in school history in slugging percentage. Coach McKinney earned the Best Defensive Award her sophomore and junior year, and she was named the Most Valuable Player and Player of the Year her senior year.
After graduating from Ole Miss, Paige earned her Master’s Degree in speech therapy from the University of Memphis. Coach McKinney is currently employed with Reliant Rehab, working as a speech therapist.
Congratulations are in the works for Coach McKinney, as she just recently got engaged to Taz Zettergren!
Wilson Speck is beginning his fourth season as an assistant coach for the Desoto Central High School softball team. During the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Speck helped lead the Jags to consecutive state championships.
Since arriving at Desoto Central High School, Coach Wilson Speck has taught business courses. Prior to teaching at Desoto Central High School, Wilson was a teacher in the New Albany School District, the Pontotoc County School District and the Houston School District for a combination of 16 years.
A native of Pontotoc County, Mississippi, Coach Speck is a 1995 graduate of Tupelo High School. After graduation he attended the University of Mississippi, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics in 2002. Following graduation, Coach Speck spent a year as a pharmaceutical salesman for Novartis based out of Memphis, Tennessee, and in 2006, Coach Speck received his Master’s Degree from Mississippi State University in Secondary Education. In 2010, Speck received his Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Mississippi.
Coach Speck is married to Emily Chase Speck from Houston, Mississippi. Wilson and Emily have three children: Caroline (16), Allyson (16), and Will (11). In his free time, Coach Speck enjoys raising horses, playing golf and spending time with his family.
Coach Speck feels blessed to be part of such a great school, community, and team. As a coach at Desoto Central High School, he said he strives to be an example for student athletes both on and off the field.
Jordan Wheeler is a 2017 graduate of Desoto Central High school, where she graduated with honors and played as a first baseman and pitcher. Shortly after she graduated, Jordan had the pleasure of beginning her coaching career at her own alma mater, Desoto Central High School. Since becoming an assistant at Desoto Central, Jordan has helped assist the softball program in two back to back state championships and multiple district titles.
Currently, Jordan coaches the 14U Blue Angles softball team, where she also played competitively for many years. Jordan is also attending Northwest Community College where she is pursuing a degree in nursing.
In her spare time, Jordan enjoys spending time with her family, watching crime shows and hanging out with her friends. Jordan's little sister, Jorja plays for the Desoto Central High School softball team, and both of her parents (John David and Carmen Wheeler) are big advocates for the Desoto Central Softball program as well.
Jordan feels very humbled and excited to be back in her 4th year with the Desoto Central softball program. She hopes she can set an example for the young women she coaches, and she hopes to push them in the right direction so that they can pursue their highest potential both on and off the field.