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Floyd County Sports

April 4, 2014

H.S. BASEBALL SEASON PREVIEW: No. 1 Jeff expects huge challenges in 2014

Red Devils must replace top three pitchers



• COACH: Jared Hill (first season).


• RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Cody McAfee, So., C/P; Elijah Weeks, So., IF/P; Austin Bowles, Jr., CF/P.

• NEWCOMERS: Derek Hall, Fr., P/IF; Jimmie Small, Sr., IF/P.

• OUTLOOK: Hill replaces long-time Hornets’ manager Jeff Schroeder. Hill says the Henryville pitching staff lacks experience with its current starting rotation having only five or six innings of work in their combined careers. The new Hornets’ coach likes the work ethic his players showed during the offseason. He thinks South Central, Borden and Lanesville will contend for the SAC title.

• HILL SAYS: “The kids put in a lot of time during the fall and winter months preparing for this season, and we expect to be very competitive this spring. We expect to win a lot of games, compete for a conference title and enjoy our postseason success.”


• COACH: Derek Ellis (second season).


• RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Drew Ellis, Sr., SS/P; Chandler Dale, Sr., P/IF; Josh Burke, Sr., 3B/P; Hayden Robb, Sr., OF; Casey Gibson, Jr., C; Nolan Fertig, Jr., LF; Jared Burke, Jr., 2B.

• KEY NEWCOMERS: Drew Campbell, So., CF; Ian Ellis, So., 1B/P/util.; Trey Dempsey, Fr., C; Dawson Willis, So., P; Joe Burke, So., P/IF.

• OUTLOOK: The Red Devils have several players back from last year’s team that reached the Class 4A semi state. But they lost their top three pitchers from the 2013 squad and face a huge challenge in putting together a solid starting rotation. Jeff’s schedule is extremely difficult, but it should prepare the Red Devils for the postseason.

• COACH ELLIS SAYS: “Our expectations are high — they’re always going to be high. We want to win [the Hoosier Hills Conference], win sectional and move further on in the state tournament. I’m confident that the guys we’ve got can handle it and they can do it.”

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