North Pulaski Falcons: Returning starters bolster Falcons’ hopes for successPublished March 10, 2013 at 6:00 a.m.
North Pulaski has been lacking in baseball tradition recently, but with eight returning seniors in the starting lineup, 2013 may just be the start of it.
“We have a lot of senior leadership,” third-year Falcon coach Michael Dean said. “We look to be extremely competitive this year.
“We will go as far as our seniors lead us.”
The Falcons, who finished just 4-19 last year and 2-14 in the 5A-Central, will have experience and speed this spring. They are also fundamentally sound, the coach said.
But they will have to overcome that lack of tradition, as well as a short roster. A lack of numbers could be a problem.
BEST HITTER FOR AVERAGE: Troy Allen, a senior catcher/pitcher, will be a four-year starter. Dean said he could play any position on the field.
BEST POWER HITTER: Troy Allen’s twin, Austin Allen, will also be a four-year starter. Dean called the outfielder a natural baseball talent and the Falcons’ best athlete.
BEST SPEED: Fred Thomas, a junior outfielder, is a multi-sport athlete. Dean said he is the fastest player on the team. “He is a threat anytime he’s on base,” the coach said.
BEST FIELDER: Senior shortstop Alex Broadwell will be yet another four-year starter. “He has a high baseball IQ,” Dean said. “He’s fundamentally sound and has soft hands.”
BEST ARM: Ean Collie, a freshman pitcher/outfielder, will be a left-handed starter for the Falcons. Dean said Collie has nice control and a live arm. “He will hose you from the outfield,” Dean said.
In the 5A-Central, North Pulaski will compete against Jacksonville, Little Rock Christian, Little Rock McClellan, Pulaski Mills, Pulaski Academy, Sylvan Hills and Helena-West Helena. The top-four finishers will advance to the Class 5A State Tournament. Sylvan Hills, a traditional state baseball power, fell in the first round of the state tournament last year, but the league has several new members after conference realignment. Pulaski Academy fell in the semifinals of the Class 4A tournament. McClellan and Jacksonville qualified for the Class 6A State Tournament, losing in the first round.
The coach said he expects the Allen twins to go a long way toward leading their team this spring.
“They are phenomenal kids and tremendous baseball players,” he said. “They should play at the next level.”
First, though, there’s a senior season to address — and some tradition to rediscover.