It’s still very early in the 2013 baseball season for the Winder-Barrow High School Diamond Doggs.
However, already the team has shown signs of another successful season on the playing field. WBHS was 3-0 entering this week, dispatching of non-region foes Dacula, Madison County and Franklin County. The wins weren’t necessarily easy in a couple of cases, but the bottom line is the team stood at 3-0 when it returned to work Monday and that’s saying something when you look at the bigger picture.
The Bulldoggs had to rally for a win against Dacula in the opener in less than desirable playing conditions. The team took a 10-0 win against Madison County Friday as Drew Dunagan fired a no-hitter through five innings. Several players contributed at the plate as the team recognized seniors Dunagan, Dalton Carter, Travis Demeritte, Grayson Ivey, Drew Davis, Hunter Lunn, Blake Marbut and Blake Oviedo.
Players, talented as they may be, come and go through any high school baseball program. They only have a certain amount of games and only have a certain amount of time with the program before they move on. However, one constant in recent seasons has been coach Brian Smith. Each year, WBHS is in the battle for the postseason. Each year Smith has a goal of competing in a state playoff series at home. It all comes down to stability and Smith has provided it for the Diamond Doggs.
Smith always remains low key when talking about his team. No win means more than another. No loss means the end of a season. No one player is responsible for winning, just like one player is never responsible for a loss.
The WBHS coach keeps his emotions in check and that cool, calm and collected stature has helped his program become one of the best in the area, all the while competing in possibly the toughest baseball region in the state.
“We try to keep everything in the proper perspective,” Smith told me recently. “You never want to let one game mean too much. You want to view each game as being the most important one you play. Our players understand that win or lose, they have to be ready for the next time we take the field.”
As the Bulldoggs continue to work for another postseason appearance, several players will no doubt make many key plays before all is said and done. However, the leadership provided by Smith will also play a big role in the team’s success.
Chris Bridges is sports editor of the Barrow Journal. Send comments about this column to him at email@example.com.
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