M’hall Tigers looking forward to better yearBy MARLAN JONES,
The Mendenhall Tiger baseball team is out to prove something this coming up Spring after a rough 7-15 record last season. With a new season comes new faces. The Tigers have added two speedy utility players to the roster this season; Jordan Willis and Keshun Collier. “We are going to be athletic, that’s for sure.” said head coach Ryan Neely about how his team was looking thus far.
We was able to catch up with Jordan Willis, the senior transfer from Brandon, about where he thinks the team stands at this point in the offseason. “It’s all a process,” explained Willis. “We are getting better each and every day and really have the talent to be a good baseball team. We just have to do the little things right.”
This will be the Tigers third year in what is arguably the toughest baseball district in the state. With most of the other teams in the district bringing many players back this year, the Tigers road to success will not be an easy one. However, with as much young, raw talent that the Tigers have, the rebuilding process of this program should begin this year.
After only losing four seniors last year, the Tigers are bringing back a few familiar faces. The team will be led by senior Luke Odom. Odom has had a rather consistently successful career with the Tigers; especially at the plate. With a career batting average of .300, Odom looks to put this year's Tiger squad on his shoulders and carry them as far as his bat will let him.
Another returning Tiger is junior second baseman, Montreal “Bobo” Walker. Walker had what many would call a very successful season last year, especially to be only a sophomore. There is no doubt that Walker will be a leader this season for the Tiger defense, but can he produce at the plate? That will be a real question on just how successful this Tiger team can be.
When asked what he is doing to get this team ready for the spring, coach Neely stated, “with our own weight room this offseason, it has been much easier to find a good workout routine and stick to it. We are now hitting the gym twice a week and the field the other three days.” Will these offseason additions and changes prove successful for the Tiger baseball team? Or will this be another losing season? Only time will tell. The Tigers set to face off against the Magee Trojans Friday, February, 23rd at Tiger field.