Repeating as county champions can go a long way in building confidence for the Lawrence County Red Devils baseball team.
Head coach Jason Goodwin knows the county title isn't as meaningful as performing well in the area tournament, but Goodwin sees this tournament as a way to build towards a strong showing in the state.
" The team's expectations this year far exceed winning the county tournament, but they do present the tournament as a stepping stone in preparation for area play," Goodwin said. "This tournament should propel us into the rest of our season."
The tournament will be held in Moulton at H.A. Alexander Park, but Goodwin said the home-field advantage won't play much of a part in the results, mainly because the Red Devils have not played at their home field yet this season.
"Our players are prepared to play a complete and sound baseball game no matter what the venue is," said Goodwin. "The county tournament will be our first home games of the season and a chance for the community to see what our guys have been working so hard to achieve."
Lawrence County is the clear vorite going in because the Red Devils return nine varsity players from last season, all of which contributed to the 2012 squad.
" We have a great group of senior leaders that set a positive example for the rest of the team. They set the standard for the whole team on and off the field," said Goodwin.
For East Lawrence, the county tournament is a chance for head coach Rob Cosby's team to improve and get experience.
"We are just trying to get better at this point. We are starting several freshman and an 8th grader so getting them experience before area is our main goal," Cosby said.
It is early in the year for the Eagles, but players like Hunter Reeves, Luke Phillips and Tyler Moody hope they can lead their team to a county title.
Cosby knows this tournament isn't what really matters in the long run, but says his team can use this experience to prepare for the state tournament.
"Being ready for area play is the most important factor for us," he said. "We are going to into this as an opportunity to work on those area that we have been struggling in the first couple weeks of the season."
Hatton comes into the tournament reeling from a 1-6 start.
The Hornets are struggling early on, but the addition of Ty Terry will certainly give Hatton a more dynamic presence in the middle of their line up.
Taylor Latham, Tyler Gooch and Michael Walker will all need to have good tournaments to end the reign of Lawrence County.
With a first year head coach, the Hornets are taking this tournament as seriously as any other tournament.
Pool play begins on Thursday, while the double- elimination tournament ends on Saturday with the championship game.
|High School Sports||@DecaturPreps|