New faces, old faces and tough competition for Lamar baseball
By Drake Horton
Ever since taking over, head coach Adam Windham and the Lamar Silver Foxes have enjoyed success.
Now entering his seventh season, Windham hopes to continue that success even if this team has started the season with somewhat of a disadvantage.
“Yeah, because of some of the things that have happened,” Windham said. “We had a guy that transferred and a guy that is not playing, we’ve had a couple of injuries so right now we are trying to figure out who we are, but I still feel like we can compete in the region and we can still make a run in the playoffs once that comes around.”
Lamar has been a constant in the upper-state championship over the past few years, but returning this year is going to be an even bigger challenge. While there are four seniors on this team that knows how to win, there is also a lot of youth still learning how to play baseball at the varsity level.
“We have four seniors this year, four out of 11,” Windham said. “We have a lot of good, young talent; a good, strong eighth-grade group. We are still built for the future, but we also have four seniors this year that are big contributors for us.”
While the team might be lacking some in experience, youth is not getting in the way of these young men being one of the hardest-working groups Windham has ever had. “The thing about this team is they work hard, they’re here, they’re at practice, they’re working every day, they compete, they don’t quit and that can take you a long way, so I am counting on that for the rest of the season.”
But standing in the way of Lamar is region foe the McBee Panthers, winners of two out of the past three state titles. “Conner Kurkley (McBee) has been up to 89 mph on the gun already,” Windham said. “They have two or three guys that can run it up there pretty good. We just have to start putting the ball in play more; we’ve been striking out more than what we are used to.”
Facing that powerhouse this year will be some new, young faces that before the season started were not projected to start. Things have changed, however, and with these young men getting valuable experience here early in the season Windham believes they can be ready for the daunting task that awaits them.
“We have some guys that have had to step in because of the circumstances,” Windham said. “Because of that, I think we will continue to get better because they will get experience. That is all I am looking for, some improvements throughout the year.”