Baseball season got underway in fine fashion for the Henry County High School Patriots as they blanked McKenzie 15-0 Monday at Camden.
It was the first game for the Patriots under the direction of new head coach Shane Kemp, who is a former HCHS standout in baseball and football. Kemp played in college at Middle Tennessee State University and has experience playing in professional independent leagues.
Henry County played a doubleheader on Tuesday, meeting both Milan and Huntingdon at Waverly. They’ll be in action Friday against Lewis County at Camden at 7 p.m. The Patriots’ first home game comes on Monday, when Rossview visits for a 6 p.m. varsity contest.
Kemp announced in the preseason that seniors Paul D. Atkins and Owen Webb are the team captains. Atkins sees action at first base, third base and at pitcher. He slugged a home run and a single while driving in five runs in the Patriots’ big win over McKenzie.
Webb plays third base and catcher for the Patriots. He had two hits in Monday’s win over the Rebels, including a double.
Other seniors expected to contribute for the Patriots are Bricen May (pitcher, second base, outfield), Matthew Joyner (pitcher), Lucas Wofford (pitcher), Dillon Chico (pitcher) and Will Joyner (pitcher, third base and catcher).
Junior Lane Townsend is a left-hand pitcher and plays in the outfield. He banged out three hits, including a double, while stealing two bases against McKenzie. Another junior Will Norwood (third base, catcher, pitcher) had three hits with a double against the Rebels.
Some more juniors that will see playing time include Rylan Perry (pitcher, outfield, shortstop), Jake Updyke (outfield, second base, pitcher); and Cale Ellis (pitcher, second base, third base). Ellis pitched the first four innings of the shutout win over McKenzie, allowing three hits and striking out two.
Freshman Brice Donaldson got two outs to finish Monday’s win.
Sophomore Charlie Davis (infield, pitcher) lashed three hits with a double on Monday. Other sophomores counted on to contribute are Peyton Charles (pitcher, outfield), Devin Valentine (pitcher, shortstop, outfield), John Carter Olive (infield, pitcher); Reece Killion (first base, catcher); Kaine Gallimore (catcher); Hayden Willis (outfield), and Will Overton (outfield).
The freshman Patriots are Isaiah McDonald (pitcher, outfield), Thomas Conroy (catcher, pitcher), Hudson Cepparulo (third base, pitcher), Kenson Kyle (second base), Devin Wofford (shortstop, outfield, pitcher) and Brody Flippin (outfield).
Kemp says the Patriots’ schedule is filled with strong teams from within the district and outside.
“We will be seeing several SEC (Southeastern Conference) committed players this season, so our kids will have their work cut out for them,” Kemp said.
Editor’s note: Parts of this article were written by Jackson Ridgeway, Elijah Pinales and Tyson Hornbuckle as a project in a class taught by Brian Welp at Grove School.