After 15 years coaching the JV Wolves and assisting former head coach Bobby Martin, Cole Sigmon is anxious to get his first year as the Wolvesâ€™ skipper underway.
â€œIâ€™m very excited. I just feel lucky to be able to do it. To follow Coach Martin whoâ€™s been here so long and helped me so much, itâ€™s just an honor,â€ he said.
â€œTo come back to the school I graduated from, it just make it that much more special,â€ Sigmon added.
With nine seniors on the roster, Sigmon inherits an experienced and game-tested club. He also is blessed enough to have three southpaws on his pitching staff, a situation most coaches envy.
Left-handed seniors Kyle Snyder, Dustin Weaver, and junior Kenny Reed all figure to give opponents problems since their pitching release will be harder to pick up than a right-hander.
â€œItâ€™s very unusual, but I like it, because I think a left- hander gives you an advantage because kids donâ€™t see a lot them. For some strange reason, weâ€™re lucky enough to have three and that should help us,â€ Sigmon said.
The aforementioned, along with right-hander Will Fox will split starts on the mound until conference starts. Then, Sigmon wonâ€™t limit innings if the starter is hot.
â€œIf one of them can go seven then weâ€™ll let them. Theyâ€™ll pitch until I think they need to come out,â€ he said.
While theyâ€™re fortunate to have such a unique starting rotation, they donâ€™t enjoy the same luxury when it comes to who their closer will be. Sigmon believes it will be a closer-by-committee.
â€œI donâ€™t have anybody thatâ€™s going to fill that role. It will be different people the whole season,â€ he said.
Offensively senior lead-off batter Jeffery Hurt will be looked upon to spark the Wolvesâ€™ offense.
â€œHeâ€™s a perfect leadoff hittrer. He can run, put the ball in play, heâ€™s smart and heâ€™s a senior,â€ Sigmon said.
Justin Green, who will bat second is a player Sigmon â€˜likes the way he puts the bat on the ball.â€™
Senior first baseman Matt Kuster will be counted on to drive in runs.
â€œHeâ€™s that big kid who we expect to hit the ball in the gaps, hit a couple of homeruns and drive them in,â€ Sigmon said.
The Wolves received a present in the off-season in what turned out to be much-needed. After a starter was ruled ineligible to play this eason, the addition of
third baseman Shane Brackett will lessen the loss and pick up some of the run production.
â€œI like him driving in runs. Heâ€™s a real big addition just because of some of the things that happened in the off-season,â€ Sigmon said.
Will Fox is a player who resembles another Willâ€”as in Clark, the former San Francisco Giants great. Fox will be counted on to do the same type of things: hit for power, hit the ball in the gaps and drive in runs.
Reed, Snyder and Weaver will play outfield when they arenâ€™t manning the mound. Weaver is â€˜a contact hitter,â€™ according to Sigmon.
Also in the lineup, as a catcher, is freshman Nate Wright. Sigmon believes his ability and potential surpasses his young age.
â€œOf course heâ€™s got some skills or he wouldnâ€™t be playing. Heâ€™s a big strong kid, he played JV football on the offensive line, forward on the JV basketball team and itâ€™s going to be a learning experience him being in the ninth grade, but he can do it. Heâ€™s talented enough he can do it,â€ he said.
Sigmon hopes his upperclassmen will step up and make his first season a success.
â€œWith the seniors I got, I think we ought to be really competitive in every phase of the game,â€ he said.
The Wolves will visit South Point at 4 p.m. in their first action of the season.
by John Mark Brooks