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A New Beginning

Cody Dawson up to bat against Riverheads on Thursday March 10, 2016. Phtoto by Kailee Louk

Cody Dawson up to bat against Riverheads on Thursday March 10, 2016. Photo by Kailee Louk

By Kelley Conley, Classroom Manager

Waynesboro High School’s varsity baseball team is looking for a different turn out this season. The team finished last season 4-16, and is working towards having a more successful season this year.

The team is new and old in different ways. Coach Payne retired after being a part of the WHS baseball program for 15 seasons. Now Josh Coffey is ready to take over the team. The players themselves are all veterans–12 out of the 16  players on the team are seniors.

Senior, Chris Baker, is heading into his fourth and final varsity season as part of the team. Baker plays catcher, third base, and occasionally first base. He was also named to the first team all conference team as a sophomore.  He is considering going to Shenandoah University to continue playing baseball, but his focus right now is on the Waynesboro Varsity baseball season.
“I think being one of the seniors, and being one that’s been on the team since freshman year will help with leadership on the field and knowing what it takes to get to regionals,” said Baker. He played four seasons as the varsity quarterback and plans on using the same vocal leadership, along with leading by example, this baseball season. “I want to be a leader for the other players who haven’t been on varsity as long, I just want everyone to play together.” Baker has high hopes for the new coaching staff and feels like it’s a new beginning for Waynesboro baseball.

Senior, Cody Dawson, started playing baseball when he was in elementary school and  has two years of prior varsity experience. He’s looking for a more successful season and having everyone on the same page.

I hope we play better as a team and we can all have the same goal,” said Dawson. “And the goal is to win and be the best we can be on and off the field.”  

Playing together as a team and everyone knowing their role is important to Dawson, as for off the field, players staying academically eligible and being involved in things other than baseball are important to him too. Dawson plays mostly in left field but is comfortable anywhere in the outfield. Between the positivity and encouragement from the new coaching staff,  veteran leadership, and communication between teammates, he feels the team can make a run in the regional tournament.

New head coach, Josh Coffey, works as a P.E. teacher at Wenonah Elementary School. He is eager to get the season started with a team full of  experienced seniors. “I’m looking forward to mentoring these young men and giving them the opportunity to be successful.”  He was the head coach of the JV baseball team for 8 seasons and an assistant on varsity for 2 seasons. He has plenty of experience coaching and mentioned how the speed of the game will be the only real difference on the varsity level.  Coach Coffey is a competitive kind of guy who clearly loves the game of baseball. He is looking to make a name for Waynesboro baseball by improving overall batting averages and fielding percentages.  “We have a good group of guys that is going to give us the opportunity to be successful and lay the foundation to to have a successful program in the future.”

After having a dismal end to last season, the team is looking forward to their first scrimmage. Waynesboro defeated Riverheads Thursday night 6-5 with no errors.. The first game of the season will against Fluvanna on Tuesday, March 15th at Kate Collins at 5:30p.m.

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