Obstacles Removed?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 22, 2004

With the start of the 2004 high school baseball season, Demopolis High School Head Baseball Coach James Moody presented his Tigers team with five goals to obtain by seasons end.

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Have a winning season

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Win our area

Win the first round of the playoffs

Win the 4A state championship

And as the first round of the AHSAA baseball playoffs gets underway today, the 23-9 Tigers have accomplished three of those five goals. But it will be the last two goals that will define this team.

“We have obtained three of our five goals this season,” Moody said. “And we can obtain our fourth one today if we just show up and play ball like we know how to.”

Obtaining that fourth goal has been a consistent problem at DHS as the Tigers are now 0-for-4 in first-round play. But that thought doesn’t bother coach Moody as much as the thought of which team will show up today.

“We are sort of a Jeckyl and Hyde team,” Moody said. “If Hyde shows up, then no one can beat us, but if Jeckyl shows up then it could be a long and very painful game to watch.”

While the 4A Area 3 runner-up Daleville High School Warhawks are hoping to catch a glimpse of a Jeckyl Tigers team, coach Moody is concocting every potion he knows to bring out the Hyde in his No. 2 ranked Tigers.

“We have changed up a lot of things this season to help prepare these kids for the playoffs,” Moody said. “We went to a harder schedule this season, playing some of the toughest teams in the state and we’ve even tried changing the way we think, not only about our opponent, but also about ourselves.”

The Tigers have sported a familiar T-shirt throughout the season that reads, “Remove The Obstacles.” And as the curtain goes up on today’s first round playoff game, the toughest obstacle awaits. The Tigers are now left with but one chance to prove that “Remove The Obstacles,” is more than just a T-shirt, but rather a code that will lead the Tigers to a fourth and eventually fifth, level of success.