February 26, 2015 Issue
Exuberant, the Thomas Jefferson Jaguars rush off of the court after winning the game Saturday that sends them to the second round of the playoffs.
TJA defeated Fullington Academy 45-44. Leading scorers were Zeke Sammons and Cole Godowns.
The TJA girls got a by in the first round after winning the region championship the previous week.
By Tyler Copeland
Glascock County Panthers Head Coach Johnny Cantrell has his sights set on one target for the team: focus.
“The coaching staff is pushing the fundamental aspects of the game and maintaining focus throughout every drill and play,” Cantrell said. “Throwing strikes, making every routine play and not giving away plate appearances are key to our success.”
The Panthers’ focus has begun paying off already in their pitching. Through 14 innings, the Panthers’ pitchers have only given up five runs, and the Panthers’ defense has only allowed four to slip through.
With only two games in the season down so far, the pitchers that have seen action so far have been key to the Panthers’ 2-0 record.
Cantrell named Kevin Fain, Daniel Rabun and Tyler Haywood as the biggest stand-outs in the season thus far.
“All three done a great job throwing strikes and staying focused despite any errors made behind them,” Cantrell said of his players. “Our pitchers are throwing strikes and getting a lot of ground ball outs, which means we are pitching down in the zone.”
Although they have been successful so far this season, there is always room for improvement.
“In terms of weaknesses we must maintain a constant state of focus. A lack of which has led to our defensive mistakes but that is something we will clean up as the season goes forward,” Cantrell explained. “We have hit the ball hard in spurts thus far but going forward we are seeking more consistency at the plate throughout our lineup.”
Overall, coach Cantrell is looking forward to this season in a positive way.
“I feel much the way I normally do about this season; I am always carefully optimistic,” Cantrell said, adding, “Being such a small school means we are not as deep on the bench as almost every other team we will play this season; but, I am very confident in the young men on our roster to go out and play at a high level.”
The Panthers will continue to work throughout the season towards their collaborative goal: a region title and a trip to the playoffs. Until then, Cantrell plans to sharpen the players’ focus to achieve their full potential.
“I told our players the other day that out of 14 innings we probably have played five or six of those to our potential, and despite that we are 2-0.
“If we can play all seven to our potential going forward, we can have a very successful season.”
The News and Farmer
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