Adams to return as LHS baseball coach
A familiar figure will grace the third base coaching box at Gary Hinkle Field next spring at Ledford High School.
In a surprise announcement Monday made by LHS Principal Jonathan Brown, former baseball coach Chris Adams, will return to the position he left in 2008. Adams will be serving double-duty for the Panthers, as he will remain the football coach.
“It is something I never really thought about doing, but then the opportunity presented itself,” said Adams. “Mr. Brown asked if I would be interested and we discussed it. Things just fell into place from there. I am excited about it. I really enjoy both sports and I have been around some really good kids.”
In his first stint at the helm of the baseball team, Adams had great success, taking two different teams to the 2-A state semifinals in seven seasons. After the 2008 campaign, he left Ledford to accept an assistant principal position at Central Davidson. He and LHS did not stay separated for long. When football coach Chuck Henderson resigned to take the same job at Asheboro, Adams was brought back to coach the Panthers in 2010.
Kemp Smith has held the baseball job since taking over for Adams, but recently stepped down to accept an assistant principal position at rival East Davidson. After talking it over with Brown, Adams pulled the trigger on double-duty.
“We had some nice runs during the first time I did it, so hopefully we can duplicate some of that,” Adams said. “It is going to be a work in progress for a little while. Kemp and I did a lot of things the same, but I am sure we will do a few things different as well.”
Adams is excited about his potential staff on the diamond. Though nothing is official yet, it appears former standout David Thomas and his father, Danny, could be assisting him. Adams hopes to secure Cliff Butcher as well. Butcher was the pitching coach for Adams last go-round, and remained in that position during Smith’s stint.
Perhaps the biggest change facing Adams is the level of play. When he left, the Panthers were competing in 2-A. Now a 3-A participant, LHS has held their own in the Mid-Piedmont Conference.
“The move to 3-A has been an adjustment for all of us, but Kemp was able to keep the team near the top in the conference,” he said. “With the transition he had to deal with, he handled it really well and has shown we can have success at that level.”
Of course, the only thing Adams is currently concentrated on is football. Practice will begin in a matter of days so baseball is far from his mind.
“Right now I am concerned about football practice. This will be my first senior class that I have had for four years and I am excited. We will see what we can do and then turn our attention to baseball.”
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.