By Thomas Sellers Jr.
When the announcement of Brian Oswalt stepping down as head coach of the Brighton Baseball Cardinals spread, the veteran skipper informed some of his friends in the business.
One of his peers to chat with Oswalt was Michael Wickersham. Enjoying success at Crockett County the past few years, the man known as “Coach Wick” thought about following Oswalt at Brighton.
Earlier this month it became official that Wickersham will be the next leader of the Brighton Cardinals Baseball team.
“I’m excited,” Coach Wick said. “This is a big step for us going from Double A baseball to 3A Baseball. I’m excited for the challenge. It was kind of tough because Brian is a really good friend of mine.
“When he told me he retiring, I was like, ‘I’m not coming,’” he continued. “‘I’m not coming behind somebody like you.’ As long as it’s a good friend of mine like he is and he’s still here, it’s kind of blessing. I’m excited to get with these kids and get rolling.”
Wickersham’s coaching career got rolling back in 1998 at the University School of Jackson as an assistant. Then his next stop was at Bolton High School under the leadership of Head Coach Chris Godwin.
The last four years Coach Wick has been at Crockett County compiling a 94-49 record. The Cavaliers reached the Class 2A State Tournament two season ago and was eliminated this past season by a hot Milan team.
Meanwhile the Cardinals enjoyed success under Oswalt reaching 5 Regional Tournaments including the past season losing a thriller to Bartlett in the semifinals.
“That’s another thing that’s nerve racking,” Wickersham acknowledged. “They’re on the cusp. They were one run away from going to Murfreesboro. You’ve got a great young club coming back. It’s another pressure packed situation. They’re expected to win. And I’m expecting good things out of them too.”
Entering an established program, Wickersham said it was the right time to make the move up to Class 3A.
“I believe Brian has left this program in great shape,” he said. “There were two things that were going to happen when he left. One was nobody was going to want to come after somebody like that. Two, the person who does take the leap like me and has done this is stepping into a great situation.
“”These kids are going to be able to run what he does and his program for the next couple of years,” Wickersham concluded. “They can run with another really. I didn’t invent the wheel. I’m just a little spoke and I’m going to try to keep the wheel rolling.”