Note: This is the first in a series spotlighting the upcoming baseball schedules for local teams. Winder-Barrow and Apalachee will be previewed in coming weeks.
After exploding onto the scene last spring in its first varsity season, the Bethlehem Christian Academy Diamond Knights are anxiously looking forward to the 2013 campaign.
BCA advanced to the GISA Class A semifinals under the direction of coach Nick Pou in 2012, shocking most of the state in the process. The entire roster returns for 2013 as the Knights advanced to the semifinals without a senior on the team.
Awaiting BCA, however, will be a daunting schedule including the season opener against defending Class AAA state champion Tattnall Square Academy. The game will be March 4 at BCA at 4 p.m. The contest will no doubt be one of the marquee matches in the opening week of the 2013 season.
“Our region is not real deep,” Pou said. “We are playing all the big boys this year to help prepare us for the postseason.”
The Knights did not lose to a Class A team in 2012 until the state semifinals.
They were given little challenge among fellow Region 1-A squads.
While BCA did play some larger opponents a year ago, Pou wants his players to be battle tested by the time the postseason arrives.
The Knights will also play defending Class AA champion Brentwood and perennial Class AA playoff teams Windsor and Gatewood.
BCA will also travel to Tattnall Square in Macon March 21 for a rematch from the season opener. In addition, the Knights will travel to Class AAA Stratford Academy April 2.
“Teams know who we are now after we what we did last season,” Pou said. “We have some players signing with colleges now. We were also invited to play in some public school tournaments in South Carolina.”
Overall, the Knight program is growing at a rapid pace, due in partly to the success enjoyed on the diamond in 2012. BCA will field a junior varsity this spring as well.
As far as the 2013 schedule, Pou said it will be a challenge for the program, but a great opportunity as well.
“Our players are excited about getting to play against some of the best programs in the state,” Pou said. “There has been some talk on the (Georgia Varsity Sports) Vent about our schedule. People are taking notice.”
Preseason practice will begin Feb. 4 for BCA. Pou said the team may be missing some players who are still involved in basketball, but they will join preseason drills as soon as that season is complete.
“We’re ready to go,” Pou said. “It should be a fun spring.”
The Knights were 19-4 overall in 2012.