The New Brockton Lady Gamecocks come into 2021 with one of the deepest teams the school has ever boasted.
Head coach Wade Hussey said that he’s never had a team as deep – from top to bottom – as this season’s group.
“We’re deeper than we’ve ever been since I’ve been here,” Hussey flatly said. “I believe that we are a team that can hit .400 or better through the entire lineup.
“We’re deeper defensively, offensively and in the circle (pitching). We’re short at catcher right now but we’re working on some younger players there.”
Despite the depth at New Brockton, only two of the returners this season are seniors, as New Brockton has been playing with younger players in recent years, even seventh and eight graders.
Seniors Bailey Blackmon and Harley Chinn will be expected to lead the 2021 Lady Gamecocks.
“Our two seniors are going to have to lead us,” Hussey said. “We’ve leaned on Bailey the last three years and she’ll be big (at the plate) and in the circle. Harley Chinn is going to have to be big for us, too.”
Hussey also pointed to junior McKenlie Jerkins, sophomore Shelby Hobbs, freshman Kennedy Hussey, junior Jordyn Thornton and junior Gracie Bradshaw has been big for New Brockton this year. Hussey led New Brockton in hitting during the shortened 2020 season and Bradshaw returns from a knee injury.
Thornton was a star at Enterprise High School the previous two seasons but transferred to New Brockton during the summer. Thornton is committed to Martin Methodist College and Blackmon signed with Coastal Alabama Community College-South earlier this year.
“I have three pitchers – and possibly a fourth – and we’ve never been able to say that,” Hussey said. “We also have ninth and 10th graders that we’re looking for big production out of and to be able to support the upperclassmen. I hope to have some power coming off the bench, too.”
The big positive with having so many returning and veteran players is that Hussey said that less explaining is needed with his players, even younger players, because they’ve been there and done that.
“We have a lot of good energy out there and they get it, so I have to do less as far as instructions and things like that,” Hussey said. “We just get to work. When I tell them to do something it gets done in 20 minutes right now instead of 30 minutes. We have some seasoned veterans out there that are only ninth and 10th graders.”
Joining Hussey on the coaching staff this season is former Clemson football player Matt Sanders, who has been a fast pitch softball umpire since he was in high school.
With so much talent on the team, Hussey said it will be all about coming together as a team.
“The biggest thing is for everyone to just buy in,” Hussey said. “We have 12 players that can play on the field at any given time.
“We just have to let the program be bigger than the individual. That’s what I hope our girls can do, just believe in the program and the plan we’ve put in place and not worry about the moment they’re in.”
The Lady Gamecocks will start the season off at home against Carroll on Feb. 23.