With the Manchester area receiving more than 7 inches of rain so far in the month of February, local spring prep sports teams have had a difficult time preparing for the upcoming season. TSSAA regulations allowed middle school teams to begin practice on Monday, February 3rd. High school programs were allowed to begin practice on Monday, February 10th. Thunder Radio sports polled many of the spring sports coaches on Tuesday to see how they are adapting.
At Coffee County Middle School new head baseball coach Reed Wolfe said that his squad had only been on the field 1 time since the opening of the practice season. “Fortunately, we have been able to use our facility to get plenty of swings but really at this point we need time on the field to get live ground balls and work on cuts and relays” said Wolfe. New soccer coach Jamie Norris has been able to use the gym some to “work on the communication and technique.” He has also shared with his team to accept the motto “No Excuses” in response to the adversity. CCMS softball has a new coach in Tiffany McCormick. McCormick spoke the words that all the spring coaches wanted to say when she said “WE NEED TIME ON OUR FIELD.” The Lady Raiders have had the opportunity to work in the indoor facility and the gym. “We have worked on some hitting, but only one day on the field is rough” added McCormick.
At Coffee County CHS, Nathan Wanuch told Thunder Radio sports “we start our season with an athlete assessment where we put the athletes through a variety of events so that we can assess their strengths and get a feel for where they are at fitness wise. Due to the weather, we are having to postpone our initial assessment and replace it with general conditioning sessions and team building exercises.” The Raider track team is looking to return an athlete to the state meet for the 30th straight year in 2020. The Coffee County CHS tennis team has gotten in some work in the gym of the Raider Academy. Coach Josh Inzer said that the team was “unable to use our racquets effectively, if at all, due to space and floor conditions. We are mainly able to work on conditioning and agility drills. We will watch tennis videos on techniques and drills to discuss tips, improvements, and strategy. We will work as a team to find doubles partners given the limited time on the courts during this time. Our goal is to use our time as effectively as possible until we can get back on the courts and do what we love!”
The Coffee County Lady Raiders softball team was able to get on the field at 12:01 AM on Monday morning with their annual Midnight Madness practice. Head coach Brandon McWhorter told Thunder Radio sports that “we were able to get a 40 minute practice in during our midnight madness, which with the rain we have gotten this week, was huge for us. It gave us a chance to see our newer girls in a real practice setup. We did some individual grouping drills, then finished up with infield/outfield drills and full field drills. It was great to be able to get out there with the girls and allow them to see a ball off a bat.” They have been able to get in work in the Crethan Hansert Hitting Facility and the Joe Frank Patch Memorial Gym. The Lady Raiders have been joined in the gym by the Raider soccer and baseball teams.