TORI J. NORRIS/THE GREENVILLE STANDARD
After a 2-18 record last year, the Georgiana Panthers are looking to improve their record. And Coach Ken Hamilton believes that they can do it.
“We have a young team,” said Coach Hamilton. “But it is an experienced team. Seven of the nine starters are tenth graders, but they have been playing together since seventh grade.”
With only one senior, who began playing last year, and two juniors, Coach Hamilton is looking for all his players to take responsibility for their role on the field.
“With us having experience in every position defensively, we should have fewer errors,” said Coach Hamilton. “Our leadership has to be set by example and working well with one another.”
The Panthers have been in the weight room with Coach Ezell Powell since August. Coach Hamilton believes this will be another benefit to his team this year as they will be stronger.
Strength is going to be important as Georgiana will face Brantley and Highland Home in area play this year. “We are in a tough area,” said Coach Hamilton. “I expect us to be competitive against them. If we go out and do the simple plays we know we can do we will stay in the game, as compared to last year when after a couple of innings we were out of the game.”
This year the AHSAA has implemented a pitch count rule limiting the number of pitches a player can throw over a period of time.
“I am anxious to see if this will help or hurt us,” said Coach Hamilton. “I have had several throwers, but now I will see how many are pitchers. When you have a player consistently throwing strikes, he will be able to stay in longer. But if a player is not capable of remaining consistent we will have to go through several pitchers in a game and that can hurt us.”
Assisting Coach Hamilton this year is former Georgiana Panther and Faulkner Eagle Matt Sheffield. “I am excited to have him helping out this year,” said Coach Hamilton. “With his experience playing college ball, he will be able to help us.”
Georgiana will open their season on Monday at Red Level. The junior varsity will play at 4 p.m. and the varsity is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.