BY BRADLEY CROW
The Wesson Cobras hit the field in 2009 with all but one starter back from a team that went three rounds deep into the state playoffs before falling to state champion Richton.
The Cobras will be without Co-Lin signee Jonathan Grace but return every other key cog in that playoff run for 2009. The Cobras will rely on starting pitching and fundamentally sound defense to carry them this season.
“This is probably the deepest I have ever been,” stated Cobra skipper Hugh Knight. “We preach defense and are going to be okay on the mound. I think this bunch may not have the power but we are going to see more hitting for average.”
The key to any baseball team is sound pitching. Knight believes he has two solid district starters in junior Caleb Broome and sophomore Matt P. Smith. “These guys bring a little pop to the hill and can locate for strikes,” added Knight. Also toeing the mound for the Cobras this spring will be Gage Wilson, Gib Britt, Brandon Allen, Zach Davis and Alan Stegall.
Defensively, the Cobras will start junior Patrick Boone at first base while Zac Stafford and Jacob Fischer will catch looks at second base. Shortstop will see Broome and Matt P. Smith rotate while the other pitches. Third base will be handled by junior Brandon Allen. The infield will receive another solid contributor in sophomore Kyle Cross upon the conclusion of basketball season.
The outfield will be patrolled by senior Chris Fink in center field. The remaining positions are still being battled in right and left field with Stegall, Wilson and Sid Cawthorn all rotating in and out. The battery will be complete behind the plate at catcher by senior Matt S. Smith. Senior Cody Chrestman will see action at catcher and designated hitter as well.
Offensively, the Cobras will take whatever they can manufacture and protect it on defense according to Knight.
“We won 7 or 8 one run ballgames last year and lost 3 or 4 one run games last year as well,” explained Knight. “That is the way we play. We just have to scrap and hopefully we are going to have some kids hit better for average.”
The 2009 Cobras have a monstrous schedule with the likes of Petal, Hillcrest, Brookhaven, and other good programs from around the state. This is proof the Cobras are looking to make a run at a district title and another shot at 2A gold.
The Cobras host a jamboree Saturday beginning at 11:00 when the Franklin County Bulldogs come to call. The Cobras will then play the North Pike Jaguars at 3:30. The jamboree is in a four inning format. Knight is assisted by first year assistant Seth Lofton. Lofton is the former head coach at Enterprise.