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Patrick Henry High School
Estill

PHA LOOKING AHEAD TO 2018-2019 SEASON As School Year Winds Down

By Jeffrey Strickland

Special Writer

Estill – Spring sports are finally over at Patrick Henry Academy, and students are preparing for exams and a well-deserved summer vacation. The golf team, led by Belinda and Mike McCoy, had the most success this year, winning a sixth consecutive region championship. While in second place at the end of the first day of the state tournament in Myrtle Beach, they eventually placed third behind Beaufort Academy and Cambridge Academy in SCISA Class A.

Robbie Breland’s varsity soccer team finished the season with a 3-9 record and only loses two seniors. Juniors Ellee Mikell and Emily Wall made the all-region team. In other girls’ sports, the Lady Patriots softball team went 4-11 on the year, but that overall record does not show how close several of those losses were. Coach Ervin Harriott will lose the services of four seniors but still has a good foundation of young players, including four rising ninth graders.

In Patriot baseball, Blake Hodge’s young and inexperienced team collected enough wins during the season to make it to the playoffs, eventually going 8-11 on the season. They split the initial two games of a first-round playoff series with Wardlaw but were knocked out of the playoffs in Game 3, losing 7-5. Junior Kennedy Fairey led the team in batting with a .328 average and in pitching with a 1.59 ERA. Hodge frequently praised the quality of his pitching throughout the season, and pitchers Fairey, Kyle Jarrell, Garrett Griner, and Batten Bostick combined for 178 total strikeouts versus 65 walks and giving up only 94 runs on 83 hits. Only losing three seniors from this year’s squad, Coach Hodge expects next season to be a special one with talented young players currently on the team and a few solid JV players expected to make the move to varsity next spring. With a JV baseball team that fielded 20 players, the future of the sport at PHA looks bright.

Mike McCoy is currently holding spring practice, gearing up for the 2018 football season. So far 15 young men are practicing but that number could change with new students enrolling or current students deciding to play. After last season’s unexpected 9-3 campaign and a shot at the 8-Man Division II state title, McCoy isn’t sure about this year’s prospects. “We lost seven seniors, and we’ll definitely be a young team,” explained McCoy. His first job will be to rebuild a line that lost solid starters Hunter Spielman and Clayton Richards and jack-of-all-trades Jackson Wiggins. Myles Allen, Brandon Tant, Boyd Gleaton, William Cone, and Tison Gohagan appear to be the expected replacements. While many players next year will be ninth graders, McCoy still has a solid core of veteran starters who can play almost anywhere on offense or defense: seniors Garrett Griner and Daniel Hauptmann and junior Kyle Jarrell. “We’ve really got a good group of kids this year. They may be young, but they have a lot of enthusiasm for the game and give it all they’ve got at practice. I expect them to train hard at our summer workout sessions, and we’ll be ready to get to work when camp starts in July,” said McCoy.

 

 

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