05/31/05 — Key starters return as Snow Hill seeks third East crown since 2001

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Key starters return as Snow Hill seeks third East crown since 2001

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 31, 2005 1:55 PM

SNOW HILL -- Veteran Snow Hill American Legion coach James "Rabbit" Fulghum returns six regular starters to a Post 94 team that finished third in the Area One East South Division last season.

Returning for Snow Hill are infielders John Allen Conway, Chip Wall and Jordy Davis and outfielders Jordan Scott, Blake Taylor and Matthew Tyndall. Wall, Davis and Taylor are also expected to see significant time on the mound.

To go along with these returnees, Brandon Brown (OF), injured all of last season; and Travis Rouse (OF/P), who started several games at the end of the year, should be impact players for Post 94.

All in all, Fulghum believes the team will be improved with last year's Legion experience and another high school season under their belt.

"Our overall strength could be depth. We are used to playing 13 or 14. This year we will carry 18 and all of them should make a contribution and will push each other for a starting position," he said. "We have some depth at every position."

Fulghum expects Wayne County, Pitt County Post 39 and New Bern to be the teams to watch in the 11-team Area One East.

"Our arms are good, our bats will be OK. We are going to be improved, but there are other teams that will also be good," Fulghum said. "I'm looking forward to the season."

The team is about half returnees and half new players. Also, Post 94's roster is about a 50-50 mix of players from Greene Central High School with the other half coming from South Central, Farmville Central, North Pitt and Ayden-Grifton.

Eventually, Fulghum should benefit from five Farmville players -- Brad and Chad Bagley, Craven Taylor, Spencer Albritton and Tommy Cobb. All but Cobb are newcomers to the program.

Farmville is currently still alive in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A playoffs and will square off against either Bessemer City or Chatham Central in the state championship series this weekend.

Brown and Conway are from South Central, which advanced to the 3-A eastern finals before falling to Southern Alamance in two games.

"We'll get the South Central boys back on Tuesday. We've got those kids who went to the state playoffs and Brown and Conway have more experience than anyone we have," Fulghum said. "We've got a lot of players who played last year, and I think the new guys will add a lot.

"We haven't ever had a problem with kids not getting along from other schools, and we don't anticipate one this year."

From Greene Central, Hunter Chase (IF), Drew Sowers (3B/P) and Lance Murray (Catcher) enter their first Senior Legion season, while Ayden-Grifton's Richie Turner (3B/P) is also new.

Davis and Tyndall are the only two players on Fulghum's roster that are one year removed from high school. Snow Hill has nine seniors, five juniors and two sophomores.

"We have better arms and are better at most positions than last year," Fulghum said. " The pitching will still be average to good, but we've got some kids who can get you out."

Post 94 opened its season Monday at Ahoskie and plays three straight road games before hosting Kinston on Friday in its home opener. Snow Hill faces Wayne County on Sunday, then again July 1, and will also compete in the Wayne County Invitational scheduled for June 10-12.