Going Deep: Wildcats Hope to Go Far in New District

Despite last season's disappointments, the Wildcats see a very bright season ahead of them.

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Going Deep: Wildcats Hope to Go Far in New District

Trina Cooner

Trina Cooner

Trina Cooner

Haley Hopkins, staff writer

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The infield gathers at the mound to encourage sophomore pitcher, Ethan Cooner.

Going to the state championship is what every team dreams about, but for the Wildcats, state represents something more.

The team was one game away from making playoffs last season, one game away from competing against some of the best teams in the state of Texas, and one game away from the chance to come home from Austin bearing  title of state champions. Even though another year has passed, this missed opportunity remains fresh in the boys’ minds. After a recent move to classification 2A, the team knows that winning state is not a dream anymore, but rather an achievable goal.

This new season brings not only new beginnings, but new players as well. The team had over 15 freshmen tryout this season. This is a huge advantage for the Wildcats, as it brings more options to the varsity team.

“I want to go undefeated and take it to the house this season!” says freshman Caleb McPherson. “We all want to win district and make our small town proud” adds Caleb’s identical twin brother Hunter McPherson.

The players aren’t the only ones entering the season with new aspirations. “We want to hit better. I want to change our plate appearances to where we have more quality at-bats. I want the team to realize that putting the ball in play is the most important thing we can do on the offensive side of the game,” added assistant Coach Todd Hammack.

Last season, the 3A State Champions were actually in Harleton’s baseball district. The Beckville Bearcats competed against the Wildcats in regular district play, and although the Wildcats put up a fight, they came up short. The Bearcats went on to win the state title in Austin.  However, this loss is not as detrimental as one would think: if the team can compete neck and neck with the state champions, they should do very well against their new district.

RHP Ethan Cooner delivers a pitch.

With the graduating of the Wildcat’s lefty ace pitcher last season, the pitching staff is searching for fresh arms. If they plan to go deep in the playoffs, they will need many strong pitchers (and find a way to keep them healthy).

The boys know that advancing to state requires much work and dedication. That is why they practice everyday after school from 3:50 to 6:30. They are consistently pushing through the unpredictable East Texas weather taking ground balls, working on cut offs, taking multiple swings, and many more drills to get ready for the long season ahead.

Although the Wildcats did not go out with the bang they were hoping for, this new district gives them a newfound hope and drive to go deep. Their work ethic and dedication has been shown in the season, proving they have what it takes to accomplish their goals.

The Wildcats’ first district game is Tuesday, March 5th against Carlisle.

About the Contributor
Haley Hopkins, STAFF WRITER

Haley Hopkins is a sophomore that participates in softball, cheer, and NHS. She also enjoys spending time with her brothers, best friend Taylor, and attending...

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Going Deep: Wildcats Hope to Go Far in New District