With only three returning seniors, this year’s Searcy Lions are young, but coach Clay McCammon thinks they’ve got the drive to overcome inexperience.
“On the whole, it’s a great group of kids to coach,” McCammon said. “They love the game, they’re committed to the game, and they like to work.”
After going 21-11 last season, the Lions, who are also coached by Matthew Davis and Miles Watson, are focusing on outfield play to surpass their record last year.
“Overall, we’ve been real pleased, and they’re developing on track,” McCammon said.
Though its senior class is small, the team has 10 junior players who McCammon said will be relied on heavily, as well as several sophomores who played last season.
The Lions are looking to Jonesboro as a team to beat this year, and McCammon said they’ve been conference rivals for the past 10 years. In addition to Jonesboro, McCammon said his team is eager to compete with new conference members Cabot, North Little Rock and Little Rock Central.
“We’ve played them before, but this is the first time that they’re going to be conference games for us,” McCammon said. “It’s going to be a really tough league, and we’ll have to play well every Tuesday for our conference doubleheaders.”
Best Hitter for Average: Returning junior Zach Anderson started as a freshman and sophomore but had his season cut short last year with a torn ACL. Finally back to full strength, coach McCammon said he’s expecting a lot of offensive production from Anderson. Look for junior Brandon Zomant to also stand out as a top situational hitter, especially for advancing runners.
Best Power Hitter: In addition to Zach Anderson, sophomore Hunter Wood has shown promise by hitting hard during practice.
BEST SPEED: The team’s fastest player is junior Jordan Jones, who will likely play center field. McCammon describes Jones as a tremendous athlete.
Best Fielder: Senior Colby Crossen at second base and junior Matthew Parsley at shortstop both started last year and should perform well this season.
Best Arm: Senior Joe Formel will return as the team’s top pitcher. At 6-feet 2-inches, this left-handed thrower loves to pitch in big rivalry games.