Florala Wildcats look for improvement

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 25, 2010

Looking for some improvement.

That’s the main thing Florala baseball coach Stan Gooden wants from his team in 2010.

Last season, Florala didn’t fair well, only winning one game in its 20-game schedule.

The Wildcats have been conditioning since the start of January and since practice began on Jan. 25, Gooden said his team has “worked hard.”

“Despite the bad weather and cold weather, we have worked,” he said.

As of right now, Florala will dress between 13 to 14 players this season.

The Wildcats have one senior, Zack Taylor; three juniors, Zac Fleming, Josh Parker and Hunter Hughes; five sophomores, Jace Robbins, Brock Goodwin, Hunter Oswald, Erik Vega and Jonathan Burleson; and four freshmen, John Bess, Gavin Curly, Austin McNeil and Jordan Rowell on the team this season.

Gooden said he hasn’t decided where each player will play on the field, but one area in which he is confident is pitching.

“One good thing about this season is that we don’t have a clear cut No. 1 pitcher,” Gooden said. “We have eight to nine guys with some experience on the mound. If we can find a solid four, then we’ll be all right.”

One aspect of Florala’s pitching that plagued them last season was not completing counts with two strikes.

“We’ve got to throw strikes,” Gooden said. “We killed ourselves last year with a lot of mental errors.”

Other than improving this season, Florala’s other main goal is to make it to the playoffs.

“We’re going to take more of an aggressive approach this year all the way around,” Gooden said. “We don’t want to be passive.”

Like many teams in Covington County, Florala has a tough start to its season.

The Wildcats will host Baker today at 6 p.m. and then hit the road on Friday to play Paxton.

On Saturday, the Wildcats will participate in a three-team tournament in Opp.

“We’re going to be tough early on,” Gooden said about his team’s approach this season. “This week, we’re going to throw a lot of pitchers. They’re going to get some time out there to see who we can count on. I see all 13 guys contributing on the in some way.”

And one difference Gooden said he hopes people will notice from his team this season will be the amount of “aggressiveness” the players will portray on the field.

“I thought last year we just sat back and waited for things to happen,” he said. “Hopefully that will spark us in some games and let us not be so timid.”