Those are the words the East Fairmont High School boys’ baseball team have been waiting to hear since a loss last season against Fairmont Senior in the Class AAA regional finals.
This season, East will be without two ace pitchers and offensive leaders in Seth Corwin and Joseph Casalinuova.
“That was a huge loss for us as far as offense and defense,” East Fairmont head coach Rob Barrett said. “Both of them played extremely well for us. Both of them were our No. 1 and No. 2 pitchers. So we lost our 1-2 punch. We have to scramble around and get that back. We’re hoping we can get a good mix of pitchers with our team and that will get us through every game.”
Although the two big guns are gone, there are a handful of seniors ready to step up and replace Corwin and Casalinuova as the new leaders on the team.
“We’re seeing leadership from everybody,” Barrett said. “It’s not just one or two people individually — we’re really coming together as a team. With me preaching attitude and effort to them, it’s going to be OK. We’re going to be good.”
Those senior leaders?
Leading the way is a possible first team Class AA all-state front-runner in Cutter Atha.
“Last year, Cutter hit around .357,” Barrett said. “I’m going to try to get him to the next level. He’s a hard worker. He’s been a pleasure to coach for my four years here at East Fairmont.
“He started the season out on fire, and as the season progressed he didn’t get the right breaks. But he was one of our top performers for us.”
East Fairmont set for 2013 baseball season
Whaley, FSHS girls top Bees: VIDEO AND PHOTOS
Kaden Whaley caught a pass along the baseline, split two defenders and floated the ball effortlessly into the hoop.
As the Fairmont Senior bench erupted, assistant coach David Price blurted out, “Wooo, she’s killing them.”
Perhaps that’s the best way to describe it. The junior forward pulled down seven boards, snatched four steals, blocked three shots and scored 30 points (more than the entire East Fairmont team combined) to power the Polar Bears to a 66-20 victory over their cross-town rival.
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I still remember sitting by the phone, waiting for the call that never came.
I was 12 years old, and all summer long my singular objective was to make the Little League All-Star team. I was obsessed. I’d do anything — even my homework if that’s what it took — to be on that team.
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On the surface, you may wonder what chance West Virginia has at victory at 9 p.m. today when Gonzaga comes into the Coliseum to face the Mountaineers.
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