Bryan County’s softball team has just one senior, but Coach Al Butler said he doesn’t want to use the term “rebuilding year” as an outlook for the 2017 season.
“I don’t like that term, but we are young,” he said after his team dropped a 5-1 scrimmage against Tattnall County at home Thursday. “We’re young, but I told the girls we can’t use that as an excuse. Our freshmen and sophomores have to play like juniors and seniors.”
The lone senior on the roster is pitcher Shelby Barfield, who has committed to play at Georgia Southern and was first team all-region last season.
Sophomore infielder Kelsey Leggett, a second-team all-region selection as a freshman last year, also returns, but cannot play just yet as she recovers from a broken foot.
The roster also includes four juniors, five sophomores and three freshmen.
“This is a pivotal year because we have a lot of young players who are going to get a lot of playing time,” Butler said. “We also have some really talented girls on the middle school team who are going to make a big impact on this program in a couple of years.”
The Redskins had two runners on base in three different innings Thursday, but managed just one run.
“The main question is our hitting,” Butler said. “We can put the ball in play, but we need to work on moving runners over so we can score more runs.”
Bryan County last year finished 16-19 overall, 10-9 in Region 2-AA. The Redskins lost in the first round of state tourney to Harlem after beating Metter in the region tourney with a must-win game two 9-7 after falling behind 7-0 and the “if necessary” game 11-10 in eight innings.
“I think Metter has the advantage in the region this year, but overall I think it’s up for grabs,” Butler said. “Shelby is as good as any pitcher in the region, and with the amount of talent these girls have, we could do it.”