New Brockton baseball coach Dakota Tillis is starting his first year at the helm in 2021 and he hopes that he can continue to build on a solid foundation with the Gamecocks.
Tillis comes to New Brockton after spending the past two seasons as the head JV baseball coach at Franklin County High School in Florida. Before that he served as a graduate assistant football coach at Troy University.
The Headland native is bringing his brother Stetson Tillis, who will serve as the team’s pitching coach. Also, legendary Wallace Community College coach Sammy Frichter will be joining the team as an assistant coach.
Tillis and his Gamecocks have been hitting the practice field hard since the minute he was hired.
“Practices have been going good, the throwing program has been going good and the kids have bought into conditioning,” Tillis said. “We’re just getting our fundamentals locked down. We’ve had a good turnout. We have a young team but they’ve been working every day.”
Tillis said that he’s looking to juniors Kaden Cupp and Drew Cashin along with senior Brayson Carr to lead a young group of Gamecocks.
“We’ll also have to lean on a few young guys like Payton Green and Riley Simmons,” Tillis said.
Cashin is returning from an arm injury that cut his football season short but Tillis said he is on track to play this spring.
“Cashin is about 80-90 percent right now. He’s done with his rehab and just working himself in there,” Tillis said. “We’ve been cautious with him at first just trying to get him ready for the season.”
Tillis said his Gamecocks have the talent but it’s just about getting more experience and consistency.
“We have to be more consistent at the plate,” Tillis said. “I’ve heard we’ve struggled with that a lot in the past. We’re buying in and our fielding is getting there.
“If we can be consistent on the mound and at the plate we’re going to win some ball games because we have the talent. Arm wise we have the talent, too.”
New Brockton starts the season off on the road at Headland before hosting Eufaula on Feb. 20.