The 2016 baseball season came to an end on Saturday evening as we lost to the Bengals of Fuquay-Varina. While the season has come to a close, the memories of what I believe was a successful season will last for years to come. The loss of seven seniors (DJ Bishop – Wake Tech, Samuel Gordner – USMA – West Point, James Howell – Coastal Carolina University, Cameron Locklear – Liberty University, Trevor Locklear – Averett University, Jeffrey McGarry – East Carolina University, and Kross Smith – UNC-Pembroke) will have a profound impact on the coaches and program moving forward. The silver lining is that the coaches and I feel that the program has a core group of young and energetic as well as talented players that, with the right amount of hard work and dedication, can move the program in the proper direction.
We finished the season with a 14-11 record with key non-conference wins against Purnell Swett and Southern Lee. In conference, we finished in a tie for third place with South View. Even with all of the injuries we faced this season, the players and coaches persevered and maintained a steadfast approach to battling against the barriers working to overcome the unfortunate obstacles.
This season also saw senior OF/P DJ Bishop be named the 2016 Mid-South Conference Player of the Year, an honor that only one other player in the school’s history had ever earned in baseball. Senior MIF Samuel Gordner and junior C/P Zachary Knapp were also named to All-Mid-South Conference Team. Senior Cameron Locklear, junior Gavin Wheeler, and sophomores Brennen Herbert and Nick Lee were named Honorable Mention Mid-South Conference.
Thus, while I wish were still playing, it is obvious that we experienced many successes that can push us forward to achieve even more in the future. In closing, I want to thank my Coaches Clabaugh (Junior and Senior), Sandy, Combs, and Giusto, for all of their hard work and dedication over the last several months. The hours and effort they put in does not go unrecognized. I look forward to spending one more evening with the players and their families as we will have the spring sports banquet on May 23, 2016. The time of the event will be announced this week. As always, I look forward to seeing you on the field!