Categorized | Sports

New Coach ready to get Cardinals rolling against tough schedule in 2015

baseball Ladarius WilliamsBy Thomas Sellers Jr.

While Michael Wickersham has been building his baseball coaching resume the past 17 years, the Brighton Cardinal program was growing under the guidance of Brian Oswalt.
This past summer Oswalt announced he was stepping down opening the door for Wickersham to move up from Class 2A Crockett County to Class 3A Brighton. The man known as ‘Coach Wick’ has inherited a program known for pitching, winning and producing college players.
“The transition has been going surprising well,” Wickersham said. “They have taken on my philosophy and my way of coaching. Coach Oswalt is a pitching guy and I’m a hitting guy. I’m so glad to combine what I do with has he left.”
With the philosophy to ‘fight for every 90 feet,’ Wickersham said the 2015 Cardinals will be more offensive minded with an approach to not sacrifice outs. The aggressive style for the Cardinals will include trying to bunt for hits instead of just moving a runner over.
They will look to steal bases with speed at the top of the lineup featuring senior Bentley Jones. Jones and teammate Kolton Childress are two of the seniors already signed to play college baseball at UT Martin and Freed Hardeman respectively.
Wickersham said he learned quickly he has a team full of intelligent players and guys who want to compete at everything including grade point average.
“We put a lot into our mental approach as well,” he said. “We want to make it easy for them to use their minds in the game.”
Whether it’s defense or offense, Wickersham want his players familiar with all kinds of situations and knowing how to handle a disappointing play in order to keep moving forward.
Also featured in the Brighton batting order with Jones will be players like Ladarius Williams and Hayden Smith. The duo are part of the 12 upperclassmen on the roster.
The Cardinals feature seven seniors in Smith, Childress, Jones, Robert Meyer, Chandler Morgan, Adam Painter and Dustin Rogers.
Meyers, Painter and Childress will be three of the arms Wickersham calls on this season. Others on the Brighton pitching staff are Chase Kidd, Matthew Jacome, Eli Davis and Lane Turner.
Wickersham has proven he can combine pitching with good offense to produce winners. The previous four seasons 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.
Now he is ready to bring a winner to the heart of Tipton County in Class 3A battling District 13-3A foes like Dyer County, Hardin County and Munford.
“Brighton can win it all,” he said. “If everything goes right for the Brighton Cardinals and things fall according to plan. We have the talent to win the district title.
“We also have a shot at finishing fourth,” Wickersham concluded. “We have to come ready each game.”

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