Prep Baseball PREP BASEBALL: New Aggie team ready to hit the diamond | The Cullman Tribune

Prep Baseball

PREP BASEBALL: New Aggie team ready to hit the diamond

The Fairview Aggies will open their baseball season on Feb. 20 at home against Brewer.  / Tribune file photo

FAIRVIEW - Opening Day is fast approaching for the Fairview Aggies baseball team and they’ll be defending the 5A Area 12 Championship with some new faces on the field and on the coaching staff. The Aggies graduated seven players last year but still return several position players and three starters on the mound. Head Coach Brandon Tidmore will be the only returning member of the coaching staff. With nearly all new personnel for the Aggies in the dugout, Tidmore’s message this offseason has been about maintaining a high level of expectations.

“Graduating seven guys was big for us. Those guys have been a big part of our program for the last three years and you know losing those guys was definitely a big deal for us, but we return five out of our eight position players so we’re really excited about that. We’re returning some good arms on the mound so for us it’s a little different look, it’s a big personnel change for us,” Tidmore said. “We have a whole new coaching staff this year, I’m the only coach on staff who was actually here last year so we’ve got a lot of new faces, but for us our message over the offseason has been we’ve got different personnel, same expectations.”

Tidmore said his team has come together throughout the offseason, and he has high hopes for his newest squad.

“We did great things last year and had a really good year, but what we did last year means absolutely nothing now. It’s a different team, it’s a different chemistry between these guys. I like where their chemistry level is at right now, but this team is going to have to go about things a little bit different than our team last year,” the coach said. “I think our group this year can be just as competitive as that group last year but kind of in a different way. This team is going to have a little bit different identity, but I still think we will have the opportunity to be successful.”

Some of the Aggies’ younger players have caught Tidmore’s eye in the offseason and he’s looking forward to seeing them contribute on the field this spring alongside the experienced seniors returning.

“We’ve had a couple guys step up. We’ve had some young guys that have stepped in and a guy who’s a junior this year, Malcolm Parker, he’s replacing a senior we graduated last year at second base. Malcolm has had a great offseason, he’s had a great start to pre-season practice, I really like where he’s at right now. He’s going to be able to come in and play at a high level for us, he’s a guy who’s stepped in.” Tidmore said.

“Somebody else who pretty much took on a big role for us last year toward the end of the year is Dayne Black. He’s a guy whose kind of established himself well to start the year off. He’s a two-sport guy; he’s also the starting quarterback for the football team, so he’s been able to come in since football has been out and he’s worked extremely hard and I really like where he’s at.”

Continued Tidmore, “Our catcher is Riley Carroll, and he was kind of forced into a starting position last year; we lost our starting catcher last year to a torn UCL and he had to have Tommy John (surgery) so he (Carroll) stepped in last year and did a great job for us. We’re looking forward to what he brings to the table behind the plate. He’s just a junior this year and he’s had a really good offseason and start to pre-season practice as well.”

Coach Tidmore is excited for the season to get started and is looking forward to seeing some of his seniors take on leadership roles this season. The Aggies are also going to have two more seniors return once basketball season is over, so they’re excited to see the mix of the young guys and the leaders returning.

“We’re looking forward to it, we’ve got some big guys coming back. We return five seniors and three of those five have been three-year starters for us at the varsity level so we’re really going to kind of lean on them and their experience because those guys have been starting since they were freshmen,” said Tidmore. “We’ve got two seniors right now that are also basketball guys and our basketball squad is having a pretty good year. They made it to (the Northwest Regional at) Wallace, so we’re waiting on those two right now to see when we’re going to get them.”

The Aggies’ season will get underway Feb. 20 when they host the Brewer Patriots under the lights at 6:30 p.m.

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