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Baseball: Wildcat boys target growth

Shannon Benford enters his fifth year of building a Tharptown baseball program essentially from the ground up. The Wildcats have fielded some young teams the past few years, many times looking more like a junior high team instead of a varsity team.

Benford, however, said even though the Wildcats are still young, they have a lot of veteran experience, and they are growing up fast.

“We are still a very young team,” explained Benford. “We will start one senior and probably two eighth-graders and one seventh-grader.”

The Wildcats are coming off a 13-10 season, and Benford said he hopes they can improve on that.

“I think we can go into this year with the playoffs as a real goal,” said Benford. “Our players believe, and they have bought into what we are trying to do. I think they are very excited. I know I am.”

One of the strengths of the Tharptown baseball team will be a veteran group of pitchers in senior Britton Kennamore, junior Hunter White and sophomore Jayden Mitchell.

“Our starting pitching is going to have to be strong and give us a lot of innings if we are going to be successful this year,” said Benford.

Tharptown will compete in an area with Colbert County, Sheffield and Red Bay.

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