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Predicting the future for spring
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With spring sports starting on Monday, it’s time for some predictions. I should point out that the crystal ball has been on point this school year. Here’s a few highlights since August:

Football team will win 2-4 games (Aug. 16) – OK, admittedly this had such a wide range that success seemed inevitable. I’m still counting it as a win though, with Warren County finishing 4-6.

Chris Sullens shines on the sidelines (Aug. 18) – When trying to predict who would be the top coach in the school this season – a recognition I dubbed the “Fisher award” after legendary volleyball coach Franklin Fisher – the first coach I mentioned was Sullens. Last week, he led the Pioneers to the school’s first district title in 43 years.

But wait, there’s more.

WCHS boys win 20 games, the Lady Pioneers win less than 5 (Nov. 17) – The Pioneers finished the year 20-12, the Lady Pioneers were 2-26.

The WCHS boys will have a region game at home (Jan. 3) – Sure, right after this prediction, the Pioneers lost 5-of-6 games and looked totally lost, but they rallied back to make me look like a genius. Charlie Dalton Gym was packed for last Saturday’s win over Ooltewah, the elusive win No. 20 to make me 2-for-2 on predicting Pioneer basketball success.

If you’re rolling your eyes right now and thinking I’m only showing you the ones I get right, then you’re probably my editor James Clark. It’s the good thing about being the sports guy – you get to remember selectively sometimes.

Without further ado, let’s jump into some spring predictions.

WCHS has a district player of the year 

It happened last spring when Brooks Helton was named the District 6AAA MVP for the Pioneers. I’m not quite sure baseball came make it back-to-back, but I’m not counting it out with the return of senior Jack Keele, a dominant righty who can hit too.

The good thing is John Jackson is a stud on the soccer field and Madison Hollis controls every diamond she steps on in the Midstate. One of the three, and maybe all three, will have some hardware by May.

Lady Pioneers start slow, finish strong

People expecting another region title may be sorely disappointed by the end of March, but they’ll be back on the bandwagon by May. Don’t expect the WCHS softball team to be dominant at the start – they may have a losing record after March. When it comes to the district though, the Lady Pioneers will still be one of the top two teams with Cookeville.

Phillip King becomes a local rock star 

This is cheating – he already is. But when Warren County starts winning games, King’s popularity will only rise.

I’ve seen it for years. Pioneer fans enjoy supporting local teams when they succeed, but they go out of their minds if it’s a local leading the way. Sullens, Gooby Martin and Matt Turner are all recent examples.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I hear some variation of “about time we have one of our guys back in the dugout” at every home game this season.

Let’s play ball!