As the 2008 baseball season gets underway, the Alcovy Tigers look to wipe the slate clean after a poor first season. With a year of experience under their belts and a new form of maturity set in, the Tigers set their scopes for a great season.
Now, after a dismal rookie season (4-22 overall), the Tigers spent much of their offseason growing up and growing bigger.
"Our bodies are stronger and our guys are older," said assistant coach Nigel Lawer. "We spent the whole offseason in the weight room preparing for this season. Last year we started the season with a lot of freshmen and sophomores who mentally weren't ready. Now we are a year older and a lot stronger."
So after a grueling year in the weight room for the Tigers, Lawer is hoping that the offense will come alive as a direct result of all the hard work.
"We have that strength we were missing. Now we can let our bats do the work," he said.
But with every good offense a team needs a good defense, and this team seems to be hardly lacking any. The Tigers, led by opening day starter Beau Thomas, will be accompanied with a solid rotation, including two other three left-handers.
"We have a very balanced rotation," said Lawer. "This will definitely be one of our team's strengths."
The only downfall Alcovy seems to face this year will once again be their youth.
"I don't see any physical or mental weakness," said Lawer. "It is all going to depend on our maturity. It may come down to us having to play several sophomores and juniors at one time."
And although the youth and inexperience may be a factor for the Tigers and their coaches, the players don't seem to mind.
"We are an all-around great team," said senior shortstop Ellis Fanning. "We have great chemistry and everyone plays very well. We don't have any show-boaters and we all play together as a team."
Well said, considering it happens to be one of the goals Alcovy head coach Joe Mobley is looking to achieve.
"We are really working hard to come together as a team," said Mobley. "If we can do that and make those strides and progress in the development of this program we will win some ball games."
And winning ball games is exactly what this team wants to do.
"I just want to win more games than last year," said center fielder Cole Loggins.
Fanning agreed, taking it a step further.
"Doubling the wins of last year and hopefully making it to the playoffs would be nice," he said.
All great wishes for the Tigers, but the coaching staff hopes to accomplish a little bit more.
"I would love to see us win 15 games this year," said Lawer. "I believe we have the talent to win those games and make it to the playoffs."
With their goals and expectations in line, the second-year Tigers look to make a new name for themselves on the diamond this season. Already winning a preseason game against Social Circle by the score of 10-6, the Tigers are hungry for more success.
"We are going to play hard and take this team as far as we possibly can," said Lawer.