The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

April 8, 2013

ABS ready for Shoals after Fla. trip

By Jordan Flatt

— Most coaches dread Spring Break. A team’s momentum can be broken as well as their focus. 

ABS baseball head coach Bill Murrell knows this, which is why every year he plans a road trip to Tampa, Fla. where his team spends time watching and practicing as much baseball as possible.

Before arriving to Tampa this year, the Trojans first stopped at Geneva High School where they faced fourth ranked Geneva and 2A powerhouse G.W. Long. ABS continued their undefeated streak shutting down Geneva in the first game 16-0. In the second game, the Trojans couldn’t handle G.W. Long’s strong pitching and fell in their first defeat of the season.  The team bonded over the next few days in Tampa before heading to Sylacauga to play in the Fayetteville 1A Classic. Athens Bible defeated Fayetteville, Falkville, and Cedar Bluff putting them in the championship game against second ranked St. Luke’s. ABS struggled at the plate and fell 6-2, placing second in the tournament.

Murrell was very satisfied with his team’s performance over the break, “The spring break trip went really well. We went 4-2 and we got to face some of the best pitchers in our class and one of the best pitchers in 2A. The two games we lost were good teaching tools for us, we learned from playing those games.”

The Trojans will take those lessons learned onto the field Monday as they face area rival and top ranked Shoals Christian. This won’t be the first time the two have seen each other, nor will it be the last. In 2008-2009 ABS defeated Shoals knocking them out of the playoffs. For the past two years, Shoals has returned the favor. The Trojans have come back this season fired up and are ready for Shoals. They hope to continue the success they’ve experienced this year against the Trojans.

Senior catcher Jacob Hagewood, starter for the Trojans since his eighth grade year, knows all about the Shoals-ABS rivalry. He, along the rest of his team, is looking forward to playing defending state champion Shoals Christian.

“Going into the game Monday we are real excited for our chance against Shoals,” Hagewood said. “It’s going be a good matchup and we’re excited to get it underway.”

Hagewood is confident in the team this year and ready to see what the second half of the season holds,

“We like our team this year and we like our chances.”