With the weather getting warmer, it’s the perfect time to start spring sports. The Fannin Rebels baseball team started off their season this past weekend in Valdosta, Georgia. They played a total of three games where they won one game, and lost the other two. The FYN sports team met with head coach, Jon Ayres, and got the inside scoop of this upcoming baseball season.
When asking Ayers what he is looking forward to this season, he replied, “Well I’m excited because we have some experienced players. Even though we may be young at some positions, We have a lot of experience. We have a lot of guys who were very successful in the JV program last year who won the JV Mountain League. They worked very hard in the off season. I also feel like we have some interchangeable spots. We have a lot of options in different positions, in different days, whenever one player is having a better day than another, we can switch them in and out. I think we have a really good group.”
The head coach then continued to go on and share the Rebels goals for this year. “Last year we took fourth in the region and made it to the state playoffs for the first time in about six or seven years, but we lost in the first round. Our goal this year is to try and finish higher in the region. Hopefully we can get ourselves in another position to be in the state playoffs and try to win some of those games.”
After a hot weekend in South Georgia, Ayres shared how the season is looking so far. “We had three games over the weekend in Valdosta, Georgia. We took a bus trip down there and while we were there we went to a Valdosta State baseball game which was a good experience for our guys. As far as our performance, we were able to play a number of players and give some experience to some players. We played two 7A schools while we were down there and even though we lost those games, we played really well. We schedule these hard games because we feel like we have to play good teams if we want to get better.”
When asking the head coach about their previous pitcher who recently signed to Georgia Tech, Will Shirah, he responded, “We are excited for Will. Obviously we miss him and it would be nice if we still had him, but we all hope great things for him. He is still part of our team from the standpoint that he is always thinking about us, rooting us on, and communicating with us. I just think we will have to have some younger pitchers step up because that one spot in our rotation will be at Georgia Tech. We’ve got some young guys that threw some good innings in JV last year. We have Will’s brother, Matthew Shirah, We have Gabe Buchanan, Carson Beavers, and Blake Rogers. Of course we have our two seniors, Garrett Rogers and Grant Baker who both had a good year last year as well. All of these players have really stepped it up and we’re excited to see what happens for them.”
Catch the Fannin Rebels first home game of the season on Thursday, February 22, as they take on the Gilmer Bobcats at 5pm!