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Simmons Says - Hopes high for spring

If the tarps hold up and the sun shines quickly enough, springs sports at Warren County High School should hit their respective fields Monday. The Pioneer baseball team and Pioneer soccer team are each slated to play at home, while the Lady Pioneers take their act on the road against the always-challenging Coffee County Lady Raiders.

Spring has been synonymous with success the last few years, especially on the softball diamond. The Lady Pioneers have brought back hardware in each of the last two years, winning the District 6AAA regular season in 2017 before claiming the program’s first-ever tournament championship last May. 

The core of last year’s team is intact, leading to even higher expectations this spring.

Matt Jackson and Trice Powers are hoping for even more wins after good debuts last spring. The soccer and baseball programs are eyeing district titles.

So how many wins can these groups rack up this spring? Let’s throw out some guesses for the regular season.

Lady Pioneers

Over 20 wins

It’s always a crapshoot trying to predict an exact number of wins the softball team can achieve. It’s complicated by a rather light schedule – 14 games scheduled – that is supplemented by three tournaments. In some tournaments, the Lady Pioneers could play 5-6 games, at least.

So working on an educated guess Warren County will play 25-30 games, it shouldn’t be too difficult for the Lady Pioneers to put up 20 wins. They’re absolutely loaded, with returning District 6AAA player of the year Hailey Wood headlining a seven-player senior class that has a championship pedigree.

Pioneer baseball 

18 wins

Much like the Lady Pioneers, the baseball schedule is loaded with tournaments. The WCHS baseball team will play in four tournaments, including three to open the season. The Pioneers will likely suit up 36 times (weather permitting) in the regular season.

Let’s stay modest and say Warren County wins half its regular-season games. Ethan Smith and Brooks Helton could be two of the best players in the district, but pitching will be the early question mark. 

Tyler Hollingworth graduated and Jack Keele was removed from the roster, taking with them 53 innings of district pitching last year. Helton will have to step up, and Dylan Ward will likely have to try to fill the large shoes of the released Keele.

Pioneer soccer 

10 wins

Expect the Pioneers to be a serious contender for the district title in May. WCHS won 10 games last season. They should win just as many this year. 

Sophomore John Jackson is the reigning Midfield MVP in the district and Texas transfer student Alex Flores could make a huge splash. 

This may be the year coach Matt Jackson adds a district title to his many CTC championships.