ON THE COVER: Player to watch - Carl TurnerREAD ONLINE
Jacksonville Red Devils: Red Devils look to overcome inexperiencePublished March 10, 2013 at 6:00 a.m.
When coach Larry Burrows says his team is young, he’s not joking. The team has only one senior, David Williams, who is currently injured.
Williams dislocated his shoulder in one of the first games of the season and was awaiting results from an MRI at press time. Burrows is unsure when he will return.
“We’ve only got three juniors on the team, and the rest are freshmen or sophomores,” Burrows said.
But despite inexperience, Burrows said, the team has had a good start to the season.
“We’re young, but we’ve pitched and played defense pretty well so far this year.”
This season, Burrows, who has coached at Jacksonville since 1995, has seen the team be “very competitive.”
“We’ll be able to win games,” Burrows said. “We’re going to have to pitch and play defensively.”
Burrows plans to rely on Williams as he recovers, along with juniors Kaleb Reeves and Blake Perry, who will both start.
Despite early injuries and a young team, Burrows remains positive.
“They all work extremely hard,” Burrows said. “They’re a good group of workers. We expect to scrap and stay in games and win games.”
Best hitter for Average: “We’re young, so there’s not a lot going off of last year’s stats,” Burrows said. Three of this year’s sophomores started as freshmen, so Burrows hopes their experience will pay off this season.
Best power hitter: Williams hit two home runs for the team last season.
Best fielder: Shortstop Derek St. Clair, second baseman Ryan Mallison and first baseman James Tucker should all make good plays for the team. “I feel good about all of them.,” Burrows said
Best speed: St. Clair at shortstop and Courtland McDonald at center field both fulfill their roles at naturally speedy positions. They will both hit at the top of the roster.
Best arm: St. Clair, Kaleb Reeves and James Tucker all threw last year and will log innings again this season, Burrows said.
Associate Features Editor Emily Van Zandt can be reached at 501-399-3677 or firstname.lastname@example.org.