Early thoughts on the High School baseball season

It’s time to start talking about the high school baseball season because they started practicing yesterday and if the weather holds up they’ll be out there again this afternoon. Did you see our opening day pictures? Not too bad for a quick day-one roundup. If you want us to stop by your practice or workout contact us at durhamandy@live.com.

Here’s how some of the teams might begin to stack up in 2008.
Southeast Guilford:The Falcons played for the State 3-A championship last year and they have the nucleus of that team returning with P/SS Cam Cockman, P/IF Austin Moyer, C/3B Jeff Medley, OF Justin Venable, OF Brian Webb, OF Pat Nesbitt, and the big question that they are asking down in Pleasant Garden is will Josh Tobias the freshman make the varsity squad? SEG has to get the early call for #1 team in our area. The Falcons are loaded with talent.

Ragsdale:The Tigers lost several key seniors but they have Pitcher David Coffey back and DeSean Anderson is returning in the outfield. Anderson played in RF last year but I would think he’d be ready to load it up in center this season. Ragsdale also picked up a well-known transfer in Matt McBride who came over to Jamestown from West Forsyth, the home of Garrison Lassiter. Ragsdale also claims state gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory but Southeast has Charlie Pannell and at Forest Oaks, they say bigger is better.

Northwest Guilford:The Vikings won 20 last season and can they do it again with Logan Self returning as a one-man powerhouse? Brandon McKinney, John Neese, and Hunter Bennett have all moved on but Coach Sonny Gann still has a few tricks up his sleeve.

Grimsley:Grimsley returns Gabe Dimock, Cal Sutphin, and Lucas Wrenn but they also have newcomers like George Carter and Matt Nettesheim. Nettesheim is one heck of an outfielder and for a small guy he can hit for power and precision. Nettesheim bats left-handed and he was one of the top players in last year’s Palomino run for the Guilford Patriots. Carter comes to Grimsley from Guilford Day School and Nettesheim comes over from Northwest Guilford. James Russ Jr. moves up from the Whirlie JV squad and he might be ready to step right on the mound. I do not rermember the kid’s last name but they call him Shaq and he is back for the Whirlies. Grimsley lost Clint Moore, Alan Craven, Cody Walker, and Ken Daly to graduation and LHP/1B Aaron Jones left for Gospel Light.

Page:Page has Nick Jones back and he is one of the area’s top players. Coach Hardin sounds optimistic when he speaks about this year’s team and the Pirates are looking forward to meeting Grimsley the same day Smith and Dudley get together on the field downtown at New Bridge Bank Park.

Dudley:There may be some teams ranked ahead of Dudley but I do know this, Dudley beat NEG for the first time in a long time last year and Dudley qualified for the playoffs for the first time in quite a while. Coach Larry Farrar will have his Panthers ready and when they take the field Ray Crawford is the kid to watch out for. Crawford is going to be a good one before it’s all said and done. Doug Sigmon is back and he hit one out of the old First Horizon Park last year when the Panthers beat Smith and the Golden Eagles’ tall pitcher 6’7 Avery Hardy. Sigmon can also play some third base and he along with Crawford give Dudley a solid foundation.

Others:Southwest Guilford will be tough. Coach Reid Holmes always has his Cowboy kids ready and the same can be said for Chris Causey over at Western Guilford. One of the big question marks will be the emergence of Northern Guilford under Johnny Smith’s leadership and how qucikly the Nighthawks can come together. One of the parents was telling me that they had 24 kids coming out for baseball and since NG only has 9th and 10th graders they will have to make two teams from the 24.

Johnny Smith has been at this baseball thing for a long time and he knows what he is doing and this will take some time. You can’t expect the baseball to take off like the NG basketball team did because it’s a totally different proposition. Johnny picked up some big kids from his Northwest allotment and few smaller ones from his Northeast dispersal. The first official game for Northern is March 4th and we are looking forward to that contest.

If you have some more news, if we left somebody out, spelled your kid’s name wrong, or you want us to print your schedule on the web site, send it all to durhamandy@live.com.