Mark Wilson already has one turnaround to his credit at Bryan County High School, having taken the football Redskins from 0-10 in 2010 to 6-4 in 2011.
Now, Wilson, a college baseball player and high school baseball coach, will try to do the same with the school’s baseball program.
“Our goal here is to get better every day,” Wilson said. “We want to try and get better and we want to make the playoffs. That’s why you play the game. Everybody wants on of those four spots.”
The Redskins definitely have their work cut out for them. Bryan County went 2-18 last season after finishing 7-13 the year before. And only three full time varsity players return from last year’s team –Brandon Albright, Jacob White and Tyler Poythress. Everyone else is either a newcomer or spent most of their time on the junior varsity.
“We’re young in a lot of spots, but they’re working hard,” said Wilson, whose team was scheduled to open the regular season against Liberty County on Tuesday afternoon.
The Redskins are in the first year in Region 2-AA, which is without defending state champ Appling County and runner up Pierce County after both schools moved up a classification. But Benedictine, coached by Chain baseball founder Kevin Farmer, moved down from AAAAA and joins Vidalia, Jeff Davis, Toombs County, McIntosh County Academy, Atkinson County, Long County and Bacon County.
Wilson acknowledges he’s still got a lot to learn about the new region, other than “it’s supposed to be a real good baseball region,” he said. But even after spending eight years away from the coaching the sport, the game itself remains the same, he said.
“The game doesn’t change that much. You’ve got to have a pitcher, you’ve got to make plays, you’ve got to play great fundamentals and you’ve got to put the ball in play,” he said. “We want to be great on defense, we want to play fundamental baseball, put the ball in play and make them make plays. And we talked about cutting down on strikeouts and making the routine plays. That’s going to be big.”
See the roster and upcoming games in the Feb. 20 edition of the News.