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Special interaction during ‘Fall Ball’
Pharr has champs teaching youth; BHS’s 2007 pitching plentiful

Though finishing up Fall Ball preparation for the 2007 baseball season, Farragut High School players and coaches found time to share a portion of the baseball smarts that helped produce a third Class AAA state title in four years.

Members of Farragut Baseball, Inc.’s eight Instructional League teams (ages 5 and 6) mixed among their high school heroes at FHS’s John Heatherly Field Sunday, Oct. 1, for “A Day at the Park.”

“I think it’s good for our guys to be involved with youth baseball,” FHS head coach Tommy Pharr said about the interaction, which combined two hours of instruction, general fun and hot dog eating.

As for Fall Ball work, 41 Admirals have taken part, including the team’s four seniors: Barton Ivy, Perry Griffin, Stephen Guerrette and Jordan Pleasant.

“I think it’s a good group, they’re pretty tight-knit,” Pharr said, as FHS looks to replace four position starters and three key pitchers from its 2006 state title team.

Meanwhile, as the 2006-07 Bearden Bulldogs closed out a six-week fall practice session this week, head coach Matt Buckner said his pitching is looking strong despite heavy graduation losses of power and talent at the plate and in the field to a variety of colleges.

Such talent helped BHS win the District 4-AAA tourney title and claim a perfect 4-0 record against state champ Farragut.

“Obviously we’re a different ballclub,” Buckner said. “I feel pretty good about the pitching staff ... I didn’t lose anybody.”

Key Bulldog arms — senior Drake Little, juniors Josh Hullett, Taylor Gouffon and Hunter Daniel, and sophomore Garrett Copeland, — “have all thrown well this fall,” Buckner said. Junior Andy Fennell, “probably our best last year” is with the BHS basketball team and not participating in Fall Ball.

In the field and at the plate, “Our shortstop coming back is going to be our stability,” Buckner said of senior standout Justin Miler, one of only four BHS seniors for 2007.

Buckner is also high on outfielder Dawson Halliday, a junior, who is starting quarterback on the football team who missed practically all of last season with a broken ankle.


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