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!
The first round of the state playoffs will take place at Southern Alamance High School where the 25-seed Jack Britt Buccaneers will take on the 8-seeded Patriots. The game will begin at 600pm. The address for Southern Alamance is: Southern Alamance High School, 631 Southern High School Road, Graham, North Carolina 27253
The Mid-South Conference Tournament has been cancelled due to the potential of further inclement weather and other scheduling issues. Jack Britt will take on South View at 500pm on Wednesday, May 4, 2016, at Pine Forest High School. The winner of the game will earn an automatic birth to the state playoffs and the three seed out of the conference. Following that game, Pine Forest will take on Cape Fear to determine which team will earn the one seed out of the conference. That game will begin at 730pm at Pine Forest.
Congratulations to the following seniors from the Class of 2016. Please come out tonight at 700pm to celebrate they and their families as well as their accomplishments.
DJ Bishop (OF/P – Wake Technical Community College)
Grace Gordner (Team Manager – UNC-Greensboro)
Samuel Gordner (2B/P – United States Military Academy at West Point)
James Howell (P/Athlete – Coastal Carolina)
Cameron Locklear (SS – Liberty University)
Trevor Locklear (Averett University)
Jeffrey McGarry (OF/P – East Carolina University)
London Smith (3B – UNC-Pembroke)