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Simmons Says - WCMS set for spring

It’s hard enough for coaches to prepare for the unknowns on the opposite sidelines in middle school action. With just three grades to pull from, team rosters change over quick – with one impact player always ready to come in and change the balance of power in the conference.

This year, Warren County Middle School coaches aren’t concerning themselves with what opponents may have. Monday may be the first time two WCMS teams get a chance to figure out what their lineups will look like.

Practice time has been scarce for the Pioneers and Lady Pioneers. Unlike their counterparts in high school, there’s no more time to prepare. Games start Monday.

The WCMS baseball and softball teams are all slated to begin their seasons at home against Shelbyville Harris. The baseball team will settle into its friendly, albeit soggy, confines on the school grounds, while the Lady Pioneers will play at the high school.

Flowers aren’t the only things that have been blossoming in the spring the last few years in Warren County. The WCMS programs have been producing consistent winners, oftentimes bringing home multiple championships. 

Time will tell if the two programs, along with soccer, track and tennis, will once again be among the best teams in the Central Tennessee Conference. Odds are, at least one will trend toward the top of the standings.

Chad Young saw his baseball team take a small step back last year, but he’s not adjusting his expectations anytime soon.

“My players know I have very high expectations of them on and off the field,” said Young. “The boys understand that if you want it, then you have to earn it. I don’t giftwrap positions. The best players win, bottom line.

“That mentality keeps my boys striving and busting their tails every day.”

A tough conference awaits Young and the Pioneers, but his gritty style usually takes hold by the postseason. It wouldn’t be a shock to see Warren County hit its stride in April and carry momentum into the CTC tournament.

On the other diamond, Joe Damon will have a hard time topping his debut. The second-year coach was a champion last season, riding a group of 10 eighth-graders to the top of the CTC.

Damon will have to replace his lineup, but underestimating the Lady Pioneers would be a mistake by the rest of the conference.

“I don’t expect to win every game by 10 runs, but I do expect to be competitive,” said Damon. “I want to see us in the conference finals and I’d be disappointed if we weren’t.”

Damon’s team did get a little boost by participating in a weekend playday, where the group was able to play six games. Some JV stars from a year ago are primed to step up.

“We had a few girls who would’ve started for any other team last year. They’re ready,” said Damon.

They better be. It’s almost game time.