By Austin Bishop
The Choctaw Plaindealer
After eight years as an assistant coach at Warren Central High School in Vicksburg, Patrick Nutt knows talent when he sees it.
“We have a lot of good players returning,” said Nutt, entering his first year as head coach at Ackerman High School. “I’m expecting some good things, but if we don’t get out and work and if we just think we can show up and win, we won’t be very successful.”
But so far, Nutt likes what he sees.
“We are a very experienced team,” he said “We have got six seniors and three juniors and probably all of those nine will see some significant playing time. We are an older team, but our depth is going to be young.”
Nutt expects his team to be dangerous up and down the lineup, but don’t necessarily look for a large homer total out of the Indians in 2013.
“We are not going to blow the charts up in any one category,” Nutt said. “We have a ‘make contact’ philosophy. We will hit for average, and try and put the ball in play and put pressure on the defense. If you try and hit line drive doubles, then the homers will come. We will also be aggressive on the bases.”
Cole Burney, Dakota Brasher and Coty Weaver will handle most of the starting pitching in district games, with lefty Logan Black also seeing some work, while Cody Harris is slated to be the closer.
Weaver, a junior, and Brody Hines will get most of the work behind the plate, while Black will be making the move from designated hitter to first base. The middle infield is made up of senior Javari Triplett and sophomore Clay Grissom at second, combined with Brasher and sophomore Ryan Blackwell at shortstop.
Eventually Junior Devin Murphy will be at third base, but temporarily he will be in the DH role while waiting for his injured elbow to recover. In the meantime there will be a platoon system at third, which includes Blackwell and Dylan Murphy.
Corey Chamblee is set in left, with Cody Harris and JaMarcus Bradley in center and Burney and Dylan Murphy in right.
The Indians opened the season over the weekend with an 8-3 win over Weir. Ackerman was set to host Noxapater on Tuesday, before visiting Grenada Thursday and Winona Friday.