Chase Jones is in his sixth year as head coach of the Yellow Jackets and will enter the 2018 season with an experienced team returning to the field. Finishing third place in their regular season last year and only losing three starters, Jones will have seven starters returning to help lead the team. Five of those returning are seniors that Coach Jones says are key to their program.
“I am very excited about the group of young men we have playing in our program. We have a very strong senior group that are good players, but more importantly they are great young men. Noah Bean, Blane Harris, Trey Hampton, Jacob Thomas, and Casen King have been in our program all four years and I feel like they are an extension of me. They are great leaders that try to do things the right way and teach that to our underclassmen,” says Jones.
“We have a fairly strong junior class led by Steven Yates, Kenzie Hill, Tyler Patrick, and two transfers, Evan Jaynes and Ethan Chouinard.
“Our sophomore class is more than made up for in our freshman class, which I am very excited about. At the moment we have fifteen players that make up our freshman class.
“If our young men stay focused, make the right decisions when they are away from the field, and continue to build team chemistry by forming strong bonds with one another, this could be a very special season.”
Lefthander Harris will lead the Jackets on the mound. King, Hill, Yates, and Jayden Marcum will also be key pitchers for the Jackets this season.
The Jackets will begin their regular season on Monday at Dekalb County. Tuesday they will travel to South Pittsburg. Both games are scheduled to start at 5:00 p.m.
Head coach Jason Evans heads into the 2018 season with a slightly less experienced team than he has had in the past few years. Coach Evans expects to see strong leadership from the four returning seniors who have plenty of experience to help lead the underclassmen and is excited for this year’s season to begin.
“We are excited for the season to get here but always have a little apprehension with so many quality players graduating the program over the past several years. The good news is that many of our returning players are of the same quality. Our infield will be anchored with seniors Teah Bosio, Liz Morgan and Kara Meeks while a committee of underclassmen will join senior Kristin Weaver in the outfield,” stated Coach Evans.
“Baliee Sweeton will start the season as our primary pitcher while Weaver and Meleah Stevens will also see some action in the circle.
“Sophomore Emma Seagroves will spend most of her time behind the plate as a catcher as she hopes to continue her offensive success as well. Many underclassmen will see early action as we look to solidify our lineup throughout the season.”
“The atmosphere and attitude so far has been great and we look to have a lot of fun this year. The best part of this season is that we aren’t under any pressure. This group of girls can let loose and play because no one is giving them credit for their abilities. We are the underdog in most people’s eyes and look forward to showing what these girls are able to do.”
Other players expected to see action early are juniors McKinley Thomas and Hannah Schild, sophomores Kristen Stiefel and Kaitlyn Coffelt, and freshmen Destiny Stevens and Jeresha Meeks.
The Lady Jackets will begin play Saturday in a preseason play day at Franklin County. They will open up their regular season at home against Huntland on Monday at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday they will play host to South Pittsburg at 5:00 p.m.