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With a Purpose: DHS wants a shot at state title

In baseball as in life there are many obstacles one must hurdle to obtain certain goals. The Demopolis high School Tigers baseball team knows all about obstacles and with the beginning of the 2004 baseball season less than a month away, the Tigers have decided that this will be the year that they remove those obstacles and put themselves into contention to win a state championship.

It has become their motto or creed, “Remove The Obstacles,” and they wear it like a badge of honor. Tigers head baseball coach James Moody believes the message is simple and if the Tigers can achieve it, then there will be nothing standing in their way come playoff time.

“The mental aspect of baseball plays such a vital role in a teams success. We want to be able to remove any obstacles that may lie in our path by working to overcome them now,” Moody said. “This is something we want to be able to do both in our daily lives and on the baseball field so that we can be both the best person and the best baseball player we can be.”

For the Tigers, removing the obstacles starts now. The Tigers held their first practice of the 2004 season on Monday and it didn’t take long before they ran into their first obstacle, cold weather.

“I knew the weather was going to cold and I thought about having practice inside on Tuesday. But when I said something about it to one of the players, he reminded me that I needed to “Remove The Obstacles,” Moody said.

With the weather being so cold it may take a while for the Tigers to get things heated up on the baseball diamond, but coach Moody isn’t concerned so much with the start of this season as he is with how it ends.

“I’m not concerned with how we start. I’m concerned with how we finish,” Moody said.

That’s not to say that coach Moody isn’t looking forward to getting a season opening win at Hoover High School come February 16.

But between now and then there is plenty of work to be done. Over the next few week’s players must work on every aspect of the game from simple throwing and catching drills to the more complex mental drills.

Things are just getting started for the Tigers, but like any good coach, Moody can already see how things will fare this season. According to Moody, defense will be one of the Tigers greatest strengths; the Tigers look strong especially up the middle. “It all starts right up the pike and we look to be real good up the middle,” Moody said.

Around the horn it looks like Bryan Padilla and William Meador will cover first base with Devon Goodwin and Blake Butler covering second. In the short stop position will be Bart Pettus and we could see Seth Basinger making a switch this season to third.

Behind the plate we’ll find Clarke Kirby and senior Michael Lee.

In right field it looks like Darrell Kent and G.W. Washington with Chad Schroeder and Jonathan Sommers in center and Chris Wasson over in left. But the real concern this season for the Tigers will be on the hill.

The Tigers have a great deal of talent on the mound this season with Devon Goodwin, Bart Pettus, Colby Roberts, Jonathan Summors and perhaps Tyler Moody. But if there were one place that coach Moody has concerns, it would be pitching. “I think we have a very solid baseball team this year. We have plenty of talent on the mound, but I do have some concerns with depth and how far these guys can go, but I’m sure will get all figured out,” Moody said.

But for now, the Tigers will focus all their attention on getting back into the flow of things and continue to work on removing their obstacles.