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Dual ‘gateway’ to USA team for FHS baseball
Pfeifer, Delmonico part of USA roster in Mexico international baseball play

Two key members of Farragut High School’s 2008 Class AAA state champion baseball team are representing the United States against international competition.

Sophomores Philip Pfeifer, All-state pitcher, and Nicky Delmonico, standout second baseman, (pictured above inserted into new gateway entrance to FHS’s John Heatherly Field) earned a spot on the USA 16-and-Under team among a 19-man roster playing in the Pam American Championships in Vera Cruz, Mexico.

“Philip said that team trials were incredibly demanding and that he and Nicky are thrilled to among the six sophomores who made the 19-player team, the rest are juniors,” said Philip’s father, Phil Pfeifer.

“The boys say it’s not a coincidence that Farragut is the only high school in the country with two players on the National Team, and thank [Farragut] coach [Tommy] Pharr, the other coaches and their teammates for preparing them to compete at the highest level.”

Pharr said, “We do a lot of conditioning and stuff, and coach [Trace] Pate does a great job with the weight room.

“I think there were over 2,500 kids and they try and select the best 16-and-under kids from across the country to play in this thing,” Pharr added. “For us to have two on there is quite an accomplishment, really.”

As for the Mexico experience, Pharr said, “I think it’ll make ’em better baseball players. “They’re playing with, and against, some of the best baseball players in the world.

“And I think it’ll give ’em a little bit better perspective on other countries and cultures a little bit. I think it’ll be a unique experience for ’em,” Pharr added. “Both those guys are special players, that’s probably the biggest thing. They work hard at what they do.”

Play continues until late September.  


With TSSAA rule changes now prohibiting teams playing against each other, or even intrasquad games, during “fall ball” workouts — requiring a mixture of players not to exceed five from any one team in order to play games — “you really can’t play as a group anymore,” Pharr said. “What we do is we long-toss as a team, and our pitchers work out and throw bullpen. We’re lifting [weights] right now as a team and conditioning as a team.

“Our guys hit on their own.”

Pharr said he “doesn’t much like” the new ruling.

“I think baseball and softball are the most regulated sports during the school year of any sports in the school,” he said. “The theory behind it is to give kids time to be kids and encourage them to play other sports.

“But I think it limits kids that are just one-sports kids,” he added. “I understand part of the rule, but I’d like to be able to do a little bit more. But that’s part of it.”

Though missing several weeks of school within the walls of FHS, “We cleared it through the school,” Pharr said of the boys’ being allowed to make trips to Miami [tryouts] and Mexico. “They’re e-mailing their teachers and trying to do assignments. They have a study hall every day and have had a mandatory study hall the whole time they’ve been down there.

“They got assignments before they left and supposedly e-mailing, trying to get stuff back-and-forth that way,” Pharr added. “When they come back they’re going to have to make up some stuff, too. Probably have to put in some extra time.

“But it’s a pretty good educational experience to be around other countries in that setting.”


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