First-year head coach Buzzy Jackson has compiled a schedule for the Jefferson Wildcats American Legion Senior team (19-and-under) that numbers at least 36 games and features playing dates in Morgantown at WVU’s Hawley Field, in Keyser at Potomac State College, and in Lynchburg at Liberty University.
Jackson is a former college pitcher at Francis Marion in South Carolina and played at Jefferson High. He pitched past age 35 for Brunswick in the Blue Ridge Adult League.
“What we want to do with this age group concerns player development,” Jackson said. “We want to help the players become better high school players and make both county high schools better teams.”
At the season’s outset, the Wildcats have a roster of 20 players that includes just-graduated Washington High seniors Ryan Pansch and Austin Larcomb and junior catcher Seth Campbell.
The Wildcats have a number of starters from the 2012 Jefferson High team, including outfielders Matt Ballou and Anthony DiAmario; infielders Fraser Brown, Andrew Grove, and Casey Billmyer; pitchers Blake Johnson and Sean Spotts; catcher Matt Henshaw and designated hitter Dennis Jackson.
Three of the players listed on the Senior Legion roster can also play on the Junior Legion team (17-and-under) and they are Kyle Boone, Matt Lafollette, and Garrett Everton. The Junior Legion team will be coached by Tim Carroll.
Multi-position players on Jackson’s older roster include Brandt Petrie, Logan Maloney, Cody McDowell, Michael King, and Billy Hewitt.
“We will play three games against three different teams when we travel to Liberty University in Lynchburg,” Jackson said of what could be the highlight of the summer schedule.
The Wildcats are grouped in the same Area of West Virginia Legion baseball with Berkeley Post 14 (Martinsburg, Musselman, and Hedgesville players), Ridgeley Post 136 (Mineral County), Romney Post 91, and Potomac Valley Post 64, located in Petersburg.
“When we play Area teams in doubleheaders only the first game will count on our Area record,” said Jackson. “We will play eight doubleheaders against the Area teams so that means we will have eight games that count in determining the Area standings.”
The Wildcats open their season tonight (Wednesday, June 6) with a doubleheader on the road against Berkeley Post 14 with the first game scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.
The first home games are scheduled for Saturday, June 9
at Sager Field at Jefferson High at 1 p.m. against Area opponent Ridgeley Post 136.
Jackson has assistant coaches Kevin Boone, Quincy Dan, and Jeff Craze helping him.
The Junior Legion team has a 19-player roster (including the three double-rostered players).
Hunter Weaver, Bryan Bayliss, and Tyler Mattei played with Washington’s varsity this spring. The other Junior team players from Washington High are Trevor Pansch, Drew Wise, Corey Lewis, Ryan French, Mark McKee, Andrew Craigo, Zach Burch, and Ty Carroll.
The players from Jefferson High on the Junior team are Andy Disque, Brody Price, Will Oliver, and Michael Tennant. Team member Paul Witt was a middle school student this past spring.
Carroll is the head coach and the assistant coaches are Tuck Burch and Richie Witt.
Playing a schedule that has the majority of its games against teams from Maryland, the Junior team also plays its home games at Sager Field. Its first home game came last night against Williamsport and the next home date is on Monday, June 11 against Frederick at 6 p.m.