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Pharr: push ahead, look back
Gut-wrenching choice; lots of fond memories

Tommy Pharr’s decision to leave Farragut High School for Christian Academy of Knoxville perhaps caused minor earthquake rumblings within the Admirals baseball community.

“It was gut-wrenching for sure; I’ve cried,” said Pharr, who in 12 seasons as FHS head coach produced five Class AAA state titles and three state runners-up (437-89-1 record). “It’s been kind of a grieving process, the way Anne [wife] and I have talked about it. I feel like I’ve poured 12 years of my life into Farragut baseball and have a lot of close friendships and people that I love.

“Guys like Ralph Skinner and Jim Braden ... have given of themselves,” Pharr added about two well-known FHS/Farragut youth baseball activists. “There’s just a lot of folks that I owe a lot to and feel close to that I care a lot about.

“I think it makes it really hard.”

Pharr is a two-time National Coach of the Year honoree while named a four-time Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association Coach of the Year.

During a celebration gathering honoring the 2009 state champs Monday, June 22, in the FHS Commons, Mayor Ralph McGill presented a Town Proclamation, a framed document signed by Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen, to the team while he proclaimed Monday, June 22, “Farragut Admirals Baseball Day” in Farragut.

“We appreciate what you've done for this Town and we appreciate that you are in our community,” McGill added.

About FHS, Pharr said at the gathering, “This is an awesome place. There's not anywhere I've been that's been as good as this, from baseball and people and everything. It's been an awesome 12 years for us and our family. It's been special and always will be.”

Anne Pharr, the coach's wife, read a letter summarizing the 12 years beginning with the family's move from Texas in 1997.

Anne said the birth of their son, Case, 9, “came on the day of the sub-state game [2000]. ... It was the only year I was secretly glad we didn't make the state playoffs.” Daughter, Callie Jo, 7, “arrived on the scene a few months and a state tournament trip later.

“We had only been married a few days,” Anne recalled, when moving into “a small apartment behind the West Town Mall.

”God has used you all, the Farragut baseball players and families, to bless Tommy, me and our children.”

Nicky Delmonico, FHS standout second baseball named District 4-AAA Offensive Player of the Year, said he got the word in Oklahoma last week after finishing a summer league game playing with Team Tennessee alongside Admirals all-star honorees Philip Pfeifer, Nick Williams and Ethan Bennett.

“I was just shocked,” said Delmonico, a rising junior. “It felt like a death.

“But he’s doing it for his family ... He was a great coach. He’s helped me these past two years gain so much knowledge. He’s helped me out through everything.

“Probably one of the best coaches I’ve ever been around.”

Skinner said, “We feel like we're just extremely blessed to have had coach Pharr for 12 years. He's really helped make the program to where it has a family feel.”

About the Farragut program’s future, Pharr said, “I’m sure they’re going to have a lot of good candidates for the job.

“It’s obviously a great job, it’s a great community. Great baseball, and they have a great group coming back next year.”


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