Diamond Trojans-Questions and Answers-Coach Williams
February 18, 2011By Calvin Scandrett of Lamar County Trojans
The Diamond Trojans are set to start the 2011 Season on Mon., Feb. 21, in the Murray L. Smith Invitational Tournament at Marion Co. in Buena Vista, Ga., when they will take on Americus-Sumter Co. (1-AAA) at 6:30 p.m. Then, they will followup with games on Wed., Feb., 23 & Fri., Feb. 25, against Marion Co. (4-A), and Chattahoochee Co. (4-A) at 6:30 p.m. & 4:00 p.m., respectively. All three games will be played at the same location. Leading into those games will be a preseason-scrimmage against Mary Persons (4-AAA) at Aldora Field in Barnesville on Fri., Feb. 18, starting at 5:00 p.m.
The Trojans Dugout Club caught up with Coach Greg Williams to get his thoughts on the season, and the program in general. What follows is a question and answer series detailing those thoughts.
TDC: Coach Williams, can you give us a glimpse of the experience on your roster heading into the 2011 Season?
CGW: We only bring back (1) returning starter from the 2010 squad, Bailey Thompson, after having lost 8 starters. The 2010 Team finished with a record of 17-9, and advanced to the first round of the State Class-AA Playoffs against North Oconee Co..
TDC: Coach Williams, what will be the team strengths & what areas will be in need of improvement for the 2011 Season? And, who are you projecting as your team leaders?
CGW: I am not really sure what our strengths are at this point, as it is still too early to tell. I do know that we've had a great 2-months of conditioning through November & December. Our pitchers reported in January, and did an excellent job of preparing for spring practice. We've been practicing for 2-weeks, and it has been fast-paced... All of the new players on the squad have picked up everything , pretty-quickly, and the entire team has worked really hard. All areas are in need of improvement due to the youth & the inexperience on the team headed into the season. Our team leaders are expected to be Seniors, Bailey Thompson & Ryan Lovick, & Junior, Gavin Lance.
TDC: Coach Williams, can you give us your thoughts on the 2011 Schedule, and playing in a new region in 4-AA?
CGW: We'll continue continue to play a tough non-region schedule with 3-quality opponents coming from Class-AAA, which will include Central Of Carrollton (6-AAA), Americus-Sumter Co. (1-AAA), & Westside Of Macon (2-AAA). Schley Co. (4-A) is, also, on the schedule and they are a traditional Class-A power. Our Region 4-AA Schedule includes Pike Co., which had a Final Four appearance in the GHSA State Playoffs last year, as well. I expect us to be in the mix again this year for a playoff spot -- which we have come to expect at Lamar Co. -- while battling teams like Crawford Co., and newcomers Morgan Co. & Monticello.
TDC: Coach Williams, what are your expectations for the 2011 Season based on the youth and inexperience of this team?
CGW: My expectations are the same every year. I try to get as much out of my players, as I possibly can, by practicing them hard everyday. We put in a lot of hours, physically, and even more mentally. Our philosophy is to be well-conditioned, to prepare hard, to practice hard everyday, to focus on every pitch, in every inning, in every game.
TDC: Coach Williams, what are your goals for the program going-forward in regards to facilities improvements, player recruitment, & player development?
CGW: I'd like to do the following for the future: (1). Have the outside of the playing field in front of the Indoor Hitting & Training Facility landscaped and spruced-up a bit. (2). Replace the existing backstop fence with a 30" high brick retainer wall, with netting, to provide a more friendly-view of the field for the fans & spectators. It would give more of a 'Big League' feel to Aldora Field. (3). Reconstruct the press box for it to be more functional. & (4). Add weight equipment to our weight room in the Indoor Hitting & training Facility. And, also, add lockers for our players.
In regards to player recruitment & development, I would like to see more kids getting involved in the program beginning at the middle school level, so as to develop a successful feeder program that will transition to the high school program. A goal is to increase our numbers by being able to field 3-full teams at he 9th grade, JV, & Varsity levels. That would give us approximately 45 players in the program (15 in each group), simultaneously.
Theoretically, we would hope to be reloading each year, instead of rebuilding. Our ultimate goal going-forward is, also, to win a region championship, and to be able to compete at the state level.
TDC: Coach Williams, can you reflect on some of the program's accomplishments during your tenure over the past 9-years?
CGW: Well, we have made strides in our facilities from playing at the Rec. Dept. Field -- early on - to playing on Gordon College's Field for a year, to currently playing on 'Beautiful Aldora Field' -- which has been cited as the Georgia Dugout Club's, GHSA, Class-AA Field of the Year in 2006, 2008, & 2010.
And, we have just finished our first year of training in our new 6,000 sq. ft. Indoor Hitting & Training Facility. We have, also, established an active dugout club, a team website, a diamond girls support group, a summer youth camp. a summer team camp @ Berry College, & have had several state playoff appearances. Also, we have witnessed 7-former players ink scholarships at the college level.
The Trojans Dugout Club thanks Coach Williams for his time in contributing to this article. Please feel free to visit our website @ http://www.lctrojans.com/.