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Williamsburg Academy High School

Improved Stallions seek more success in 2019


By David Shelton

Senior Writer

Kingstree – As he enters his fourth season as the head baseball coach at Williamsburg Academy, Tyler Boyd sees a much improved, more experienced team on the diamond than the one he began with in 2016.

The Stallions have struggled a bit with youth in the previous three seasons, lending to moderate success in terms of wins. But Boyd feels his 2019 team can be the best team he’s had and the early record of this year’s team is proving the coach right.

Williamsburg went 6-5 in their first 11 outings this season, already surpassing the success of last spring. The difference is experience.

“We had a few seniors last year but we really didn’t have much actual playing experience,” Boyd said. “We have more guys on the field this year with experience and that has made a big difference. We have a good mix with four seniors and five juniors and some younger guys but the big difference is we have guys who have played a lot.”

One way the coach was able to increase his team’s level of playing experience was coaching a junior American Legion team over the summer. While the roster included a few players from other area high schools, most of the team was composed of Williamsburg Academy players. The team experienced good success and advanced to the state tournament.

“The summer really helped us grow a lot,” Boyd said. “We were able to have some success and play a lot together. It was a good summer in terms of helping some of our own players improve.”

Two of the early season positives has been the defensive play behind solid pitching. The Stallions return most of the starting infield intact this spring as well as all of the pitching. A few additions have been a big help as well.

“Last year we were not great defensively but we are much improved in that area,” Boyd said. “That comes with that extra experience. Our pitchers have thrown strikes and we’re backing them up. We aren’t consistent offensively yet but I can deal with a struggle there as long as we are throwing strikes and playing good defense.”

One key addition to the roster this season was the return of pitcher/outfielder Connor Moore. Moore was a part of the program two years ago but spent last season at Summerville. He returned to Williamsburg for his senior season and is one of the team’s top pitchers and hitters.

Junior Colby Newton is the team’s number two pitcher. Senior EJ Muldrow is a returning starter in centerfield and senior Holt McFadden is back at first base. Senior Carson Collins, a starter at third last season, has moved behind the plate and has proven to be a solid catcher.

Newton works at shortstop when he’s not pitching. Freshman second baseman Joe Kellahan, who led the team in hitting as an eighth-grader, moves over to short when Newton is on the mound. Freshman Henry Swicord works at second as well. Junior Reed Tisdale is now starting at third.

 Newcomer Tyler Tanner, a junior, has assumed duties in left field. Junior Gavin Huckabee plays right when Moore is pitching and is the team’s designated hitter when not on the field defensively.

The Stallions lost their region opener to Calhoun Academy but Boyd expects his team to compete well in region play. The other teams in the region include Carolina Academy, Northside Christian and Thomas Sumter.

“I think we have a good group and I think we can be very competitive,” the coach says. “We’re a lot better team overall than we were last year. If we can put it all together and get hot at the right time, we can be in the hunt. We really have to focus on getting better each day.”


Softball Update

The Williamsburg Academy softball team has opened the regular season with a 4-1 record. The Stallions won their first four games before taking their first loss to Laurence Manning on March 15th.

This year’s team is led by returning senior pitchers Kinslee Wilson and Madison Lamb. Wilson has signed with Newberry while Lamb has signed with Francis Marion.

“Pitching is certainly our strength again this season,” coach Walt Fulton said. “I have equal confidence in both and both can go out and do their job well. They were the strength last year and they will be again.”

Fulton has moved last year’s shortstop, senior Madi Watford, to behind the plate. Freshman Billie Easler is the backup and could end up as the starter once the season progresses.

Filling Watford’s spot at shortstop will be Wilson and Lamb, along with junior Sydney Anne Smith, who can also see time defensively in the outfield.

 Last year’s starter at second, junior Payton Strickland, is moving to first base this spring. Junior Lizzie Williamson, up from the junior varsity program, will slide in as the starter at second base while returning starter Kendall McKenzie, a junior, will start at third base.

Fulton says senior Ally Brown will anchor the outfield in center, moving over from right field. Sharing time in the other outfield spots are Blakely Branden, Ashley Ward, Maggie Morris and Jamie Williamson, a transfer from Laurence Manning.




© 2017 High School Sports Report

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