The young Seahawks need game experience
Posted on Wednesday March 1st, 2023 at 7:23 am
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First-year head coach Stanley Dixon won’t be the only new face in the Southside dugout this spring.
The Seahawks are set to replace four of their top five hitters and their top starting pitcher after a 10-10 season in 2022 that saw the team miss the 1A playoffs.
Former head coach Daniel Faulk resigned to spend more time with his family, and Dixon, who also coaches wrestling and assists with football, inherits a young team with potential.
Senior Walker Hill is the top returning player after batting .344 with a team-high 22 runs and 10 stolen bases. He had 29 strikeouts in 27.2 innings last spring, mostly in relief, but Dixon expects him to be a top starter in 2023.
“I can put him anywhere on the field and he’ll do well, but I need him to get on the field,” Dixon said. “We are extremely young this year and will start three freshmen. His leadership and consistent play will be a huge help to the young guys.”
Hill and first baseman Carson Edwards are the only seniors, while Taquan (Tater) Moore is one of five juniors who will play a lot of time. Moore is battling a shoulder injury and the infielder will be limited to a designated hitter role.
Dixon said juniors Latham Dixon, Nolan Dixon and Ian Quidley will start in the outfield, while junior Cutter Williams will rotate with Hill between the mound and shortstop.
Freshmen Joshua Lewis and Taylor Ashley will play second and third base, depending on who pitches.
Freshman Jackson Hardy will be the starting catcher.
Sophomores Austin Gerrard and Luke Perry, along with freshmen Luke Bullock and Salil Dezal, will also be in action.
“I expect us to improve as the season goes on,” Dixon said. “Our freshmen are talented, but they haven’t experienced a high school season. The game is faster, but they’ll be fine once they adjust. Our pitching and defense should be our strengths early on and I think the other phases will catch up.”
Dixon expects East Carteret and Northside to provide top competition in the Coastal Plain Conference. The Seahawks and Panthers will meet twice in the same week in a late March home series.