Categorized | Sports

Will Success be in the Cards for Brighton

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Card Jones and Newman

Youth has served the Brighton Cardinals well the past couple of seasons.
Now veteran skipper Brian Oswalt enters a season with established, proven upperclassmen talent ready to take on the District 13-3A competition.
With a talented Munford squad down the road, proven Hardin County ball club and nationally ranked Dyer County team, Brighton will need timely hitting, pitching in the strike zone and solid defense to finish near the top.
“This year I’ve got six seniors,” Oswalt said. “I’ve lost two starters from last year in Caleb Armour and Matt Scott. This year five seniors are starting on the field everyday.”
Tanner McDivitt is the Cardinal senior working from the mound. His fellow classmates Colton Hathcock, Jared Webb, Nathan Newman, Colby Poston and Stone Edwards will be featured all over the field in 2014.
Webb and Postman will be counted on for run production at the plate. Hathcock a University of Memphis signee is a power arm and will be Brighton’s ace.
“A lot of Major League scouts are looking at him right now,” Oswalt noted. “I get calls about him pretty much every week. He could be a draftee possibly. He brings a lot to the table.
“Then you’ve got Nate Newman who pounds the strike zone,” he added. “He’s going to give you six or seven innings at a time. I really like him.”
Webb will log some innings this season. McDivitt is a left-hand pitcher who could be a set-up man or closer. And another possible starter will be sophomore Ladarious Williams.
The Brighton junior class features some talent expected to contribute in all phases of the game.
“We’re coming in with some good juniors too,” Oswalt said. “We’ve got Devin Jones, he’s going to play catcher and shortstop for me. We’ve got Kolton Childress. A good looking kid, playing in the outfield and pitcher also. I’ve got a junior in Dustin Rogers. He’s doing well for me.”
With a group of young arms joining the veteran pitchers, Oswalt said he can adjust to whatever lineup the Cardinals will face.
“We can mix things up,” he said. “We’ve got some left handed guys. We even got a kid who moved in from Virginia. He can be OK too. I’ve got some good young guys who I can throw in the mix with our varsity guys.”
He said his batting order can be dangerous against any opposing pitcher. Players like Edwards will bring speed to the base paths. Oswalts said the Cardinals can play long ball but with good base runners, Brighton will try to produce runs.
“I’ve got Poston, several colleges are looking at him,” he said. “He’s got good speed. He’ll be my leadoff. You go from that to Dillon Jones. Great on-base percentage and he can lay down bunts. With him and Poston, that’s a great one-two punch. You go from there to Hathcock. He can bring it and hit the long ball. I look at Ladarius batting fourth. He’s a good one. He has some pop.”
Also in the mix at the plate will be Childress, Webb, Newman, Rodgers and Chase Kidd.
Oswalt said the way this roster is shaping up reminds him on past Brighton district champions.
“This could be a championship year,” he said. “We have to play Dyer County. They’re ranked in the nation right now. We came out with two wins against them last year. Then we’ve got Hardin County and they’re always tough. They’re a hard team to beat. Then we’ve got Munford. I know they lost a lot of seniors but they have a good group of young guys coming up.
“The district is going to be hard,” he concluded. “This could be one of those type of years like I had in the past when I had that group of guys like Jeremy White and Colter Millican. Our intensity level has to be high. The intensity has to be there from the beginning to the end of each game. We live off of that. If we don’t have it, we won’t be successful. The talent is there and we have to eat and breath intensity.”

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