Daleville baseball coach Taylor Hatcher only got a handful of games under his belt after being hired in 2020 before COVID-19 ending the baseball season prematurely.
Since that time Hatcher has been recruiting Daleville students to join the baseball team and now the Warhawks will have a junior high team for the first time in a number of years.
“Some of these younger guys are picking up on things pretty quickly,” Hatcher said. “We’re trying to establish that junior high team. So, a lot of (practices) right now are fundamentals, but that’s where we want to be. We want to be fundamentally sound.
There’s more on the plate this year for us, we’re trying to get that junior high team established. There really hasn’t been a feeder program here in the last few years, so that is important.”
Hatcher said that returning seniors Jordan McDonald, Myles Parris and Blake Moore will be looked to as leaders this year.
“I have a couple of guys coming back like Jordan McDonald – he pitched and played a little shortstop for us last year – and Myles Parris that are coming back,” Hatcher said. “Myles played outfield for us last year and I think he’ll play some first base this year. My third baseman Blake Moore will be back and he also pitched last year. That’s our top two pitchers back. We also have some younger guys – ninth and 10th graders – that we’ll need to keep getting better and learning.”
Former Auburn football player Craig Sanders – who is also an assistant football coach at DHS – will be Hatcher’s assistant coach this season.
Hatcher said that one of the keys, especially for younger Warhawks, is getting them to love playing baseball as Daleville has struggled to find success on the diamond for the past several years.
“We want to get better and learn how to love baseball,” Hatcher said. “That’s what I want the kids to do, just keep getting better and really enjoy playing baseball.
“If we do things the right way then the wins will come and we will be successful.”