Experienced Tigers looking to continue 6-AAA dominance
Perhaps no high school in the Tri-state area has been more dominant, consistently, than Ringgold High School has been when it comes to baseball.
The past achievements of Ringgold teams, dating back to the early 1950’s, are painted on the outside wall of the concession stand/pressbox building to serve as intimidation to opposing teams and reminders to current Ringgold players of the tradition that hangs thick in the air over Bill Womack Field.
For seven decades now, the Tigers have fielded region and state contenders and the 2019 version of the Blueand-white will be no exception.
Ringgold, which was scheduled to open its season this past Monday at Ridgeland, is coming off a school-record 32-win season that saw them win a fourth consecutive Region 6-AAA championship. They went a perfect 18-0 in a tough region and won three straight state playoff series before dropping two very close games at Atlanta private school power Westminster in the Class 3A state semifinals.
And while some key players have graduated, plenty of firepower remains on the roster, along with some young, new faces, looking to make their mark on this season’s squad.
“We graduated a lot of kids and we have a lot of kids returning too,” head coach Brent Tucker said. “But those personalities have got to blend and that’s probably the key to our season. We’ve got to get the fresh faces to blend in and understand what’s on that wall and what the expectations are. Once they figure it out, and they will, they’ll be ready to go.
“You can go to one position and we’re very experienced there. Then you can go to another position and there’s no experience there. But we hope after our 15 non-region games, they’ll all be ready to go.”
A senior class seven deep, including five college signees and four returning All-state players, will anchor this year’s club.
That senior class features center fielder Andre Tarver, left fielder Holden Tucker and right fielder Wyatt Tennant. Tucker (All-state first team) and Tennant (second team) are two of the Tigers’ top returning pitchers, while Tarver (first team, 2018 Under Armour All-american), will also see some time on the mound this season. Ringgold’s primary catcher, Daulton Schley - another first team All-state player - may also see some time at third base.
Caleb Stevens will play some at third base and fill a role as a designated hitter. Johnny Camillucci will play first base and see some innings on the hill, while Owen Mcwhorter is returning after not playing last year. Mcwhorter will pitch and play some at second base, in addition to other spots around the infield.
Junior Dylan Wright is recovering from an injury, but will see time in the outfield once he gets back to action. Another veteran junior is Brayden Broome, who will man the shortstop position. Jake Stockburger (second base), Gage Fairchild (outfield), Caleb Roberts (third base) and Gavin Hames (first base) will round out the class.
“Some of those guys have played a lot and some don’t have a lot of experience,” Tucker added, “but we’re going to need them all to step up for us.”