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Despite having 12 seniors and 14 juniors on the team roster and reloading with five starters from last year’s squad, the 2017 James Clemens baseball team is one of newness and new attitude. The Jets have welcomed first-year head coach Cory Hamrick, who replaced Shane Medlin after the 2016 campaign. Hamrick came to James Clemens after two seasons at Huntsville’s Grissom High.
“It’s been great so far and I have to give credit to the seniors we have on our team as I know it is not easy to have a new head coach,” said Hamrick. “They have embraced the new culture, new attitude and new work ethic. They have made the transition seamless. There is a newfound energy for this group.”
“Every single one on this team is committed and wanting to reach that goal of winning state,” said Jared Brown, senior shortstop-pitcher. “We put everything we have into this effort every day. We’re all 100-percent into what we are doing with Coach Hamrick.”
One of those players returning is outfielder Jordan Anderson. The one-time University of Alabama commit who chose instead to make a change to Mississippi State is looked upon to be one of the team leaders. The 6-foot-1 outfielder who had been timed at 6.25 in the 60-yard sprint and had five triples a season ago said he likes the pressure of being a showcase for the Jets. He added, “I feel pressure is a privilege. I feel I have a great team behind me, as it will not be a one-player show as it will be team effort. We have both right handed and left handed pitchers. We have an offense that has power, contact and speed.”
The headline pitcher will be returning flamethrower Garrett Brown who has signed with Wallace State-Hanceville. I really proud myself of competing on the mound and know my teammates have my back when I need them,” said Brown whose fastball has been clocked at 90 mph. “We work on everything centering on pitching.”
“There is a little bit of toughness about us now as if they are blue collared worker as this is not a white collar game,” said Hamrick.
“Having a new system, tough? No,” said Brown. “From the first day Coach Hamrick came in I could tell there was a new culture shift. Everybody’s mentality change. We’re looking for the challenge to have that winning attitude.”
The Jets were 25-21 a season ago. With the right combinations on the mound and utilizing the enormous experience within the team roster, the newness of a new coach could certainly jump-start a new way of winning. As singer Patti Labelle once sang, “I know where I am going and I know what to do, as I’ve tidied up my point of view I’ve got a new attitude.”