A few months ago, Donnie Edwards was introduced as the new head coach for the Burgin baseball team, replacing Jeremy Noel. Since that time, Edwards has seen improvement in his players and is excited for what the future holds. The Bulldogs are young, very young. They only have one senior, three juniors and the rest of the 17 players on the roster all range from sophomores to seventh graders.
“These kids are really receptive to what we’re trying to implement. They’re very hungry to succeed and willing to learn,” said Edwards. “They just want to get better every day. That’s the goal, you know, it’s a marathon and not a sprint. We’ve just got to get better throughout the year and try to peak at the end.”
The only senior on the roster is Greg Korte. With having very few upperclassmen, Edwards hopes to lean on the younger players for leadership as well.
“Spencer Moore, who is a junior, is our catcher and has been a real leader for us,” said Edwards. “He’s going to be out on the mound as well. We’ve got a big group of younger guys. Eli Stratton, another junior, has been a big vocal leader as well.”
Edwards said freshman Jackson Qualls has stepped up this spring. Playing basketball under legendary coach Don Irvine will turn you into a vocal leader no matter what grade you’re in. Qualls hopes to bring that leadership on to the diamond.
“We’re going to have some growing pains, obviously, but it’s all about getting better and peaking at the right time,” said Edwards.
Edwards said the biggest challenge so far this season is figuring out which positions players are going to fill.
“There may be sometimes we’re going to put one lineup out and be totally different next game,” he said. “As coaches, we’re going to feel our way throughout the season, figure out what the best combination is to make us the best team we can possibly be.”
Speaking of the youth, Burgin has four freshman, one sophomore, seven eighth graders and five seventh graders.
“Winning is not necessarily winning on the scoreboard. It’s getting better and you want to win a lot of games, but also, you have to understand that we’re young and it’s going to take some time,” said Edwards. “I’m planning on being here for a long time and we’re planning on teaching these guys and we’ll get there, but it may take some time.”
We listed the roster organized by grade below.
12th: Greg Korte
11th: Talon Auvil, Spencer Moore and Eli Stratton.
10th: Matthew Kirkpatrick
9th: Evan May, Cameron Nagle, Jackson Qualls and David Shults.
8th: John Boursaw, Travis Bray, Landon Browning, Shawn Coots, Greyson Mitchell, Archer Smith and Brendan Stanley.
7th: Landen Hamlin, David Lynn, Jacob Qualls, Hunter Reed and Josh Shaffer.
For full roster and position breakdowns, check out this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald.