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Burgess looks forward to leading team

POSTED: February 18, 2014 4:12 p.m.

The last couple weeks have been a tough balancing act for Dawson County Tigers Coach Thad Burgess.

Coming off a run to the state tournament with the varsity boys' basketball team, the veteran coach is also entering his first year of leading the school's varsity baseball team, replacing longtime coach Jimmy Pruett.

The overlap of the basketball and baseball season is not the only issue in which he's had to contend.

"Weather has really confused things with baseball, as we were only able to get very few practices outside," he said. "Not being able to go outside and limited use indoors with wrestling and basketball in season causes a lot of problems trying to get practice times.

"But it is a problem most all schools have and we will work around it."

Luckily, Burges, who had a successful career coaching baseball in Alabama before taking over the Tigers' basketball program, has the experience needed to overcome the obstacles.

"We have great kids in the baseball program, and they are excited about getting things going," he said. "How quick we can adjust to the style of play that we will want to play will be important.

Burgess said there will be a learning curve for both the players and himself.

"I have no idea what to expect from this team. I saw them play sparingly last year, and although I know many of the boys through school, we must build a relationship on the baseball field," he said. "We have so much to learn as far as calls, running the bases, hitting mentality, and just basic philosophy that I will be trying to incorporate to our team."

Seniors Logan Burt, Colton Chester and Harley Pruitt return for the Tigers this season and are expected to bring a lot of experience to the team.

"I will depend on our three seniors. All three are starters from last year. Logan (Burt) as a pitcher, Colton (Chester) behind the plate and Harley (Pruitt) in the outfield," Burgess said.

The Tigers opened the 2014 season with a game at Pickens County High School yesterday. Scores were not available at press time.

"It is a busy and exciting time for all of us, getting everyone equipped, field ready, and coaches and players getting on the same page," he said.

They will play this Friday at East Jackson with first pitch at 5:30 p.m.



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