CPL: HiToms hopeful better days coming soon
Foundation. Stability. Continuity.
Three words HiToms President Greg Suire has used often the last few seasons of Coastal Plain League baseball. And after a fourth losing season in the last five years, Suire is not hanging his head in disappointment. Mainly, because all signs seem to point up for his organization to have all three of the aforementioned traits.
Not since the 2002-03 season have the Tommies had a head coach return for a second year. As of now, skipper Zach Brown intends on coaching the club in 2014. Several players have expressed interest in coming back as well. That is the foundation and stability Suire has hoped for.
“We have never been unstable by any means, but we have never had a consistent leader — a coach as our head coach for consecutive years since 2002-03. Zach plans on coming back and that should be a tremendous asset to us. We also have pledges from five to six kids to come back as well. Having people familiar with what we do and who we are — we really have not had that the last two years.”
Though another losing record was posted, improvements were made over the previous season. In fact, the HiToms were one of the hottest teams in the league over the final 10 games of the regular season. They were a couple of key plays from reaching the second round of the Petitt Cup Playoffs.
“We definitely showed improvement from last year,” acknowledged Suire. “We just had a few things that unfortunately did not go our way and that cost us. We were very hot at the end of the season and we had a very good showing in the playoffs. If we make one or two more defensive plays we win that game. But we did not make those plays and they came through when we did not.”
The biggest highlight of the year was hosting Team USA. It put the High Point-Thomasville area on the map and provided HiToms players an opportunity to play against some of the best competition in the nation. Giving players those kinds of opportunities are something that Suire hopes will continue to bring them back for a second season of playing for the Tommies.
It already seems to be paying off as Suire looks ahead to next season.
“We are going to have stability in the front office, the head coach, and we are going to have players coming back,” he said. “That breeds continuity. If you saw us this year, the big thing we lacked was continuity. Hopefully, next year, that is what we will have.”
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.