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Time to get outside for spring sports

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Baseball, softball and track teams set to get started

By Tommie Kendall

Yes, it’s that time. I can hear it, see it, feel it and smell it. Spring sports are among us once more.

Like always at this time of the year, I’m eager. Eager for the bats to start cracking, to watch the pop flies go soaring, to feel the sunshine and to smell the freshly-cut grass. You have to love spring, and nothing reminds me more of this than the Spring Sports Preview I release each March.

Inside, hopefully you find all the information about the two county high schools you need. The pages that follow include detailed information about the Henry County High School baseball, softball and track teams, along with the Eminence High School baseball and softball teams — Eminence will have a track team this spring but practice has not officially started yet so they are not included.

The HCHS baseball squad was scheduled to open its season at Christian Academy-Louisville on Monday, hosted Trimble County on Tuesday and hosts Oldham County at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday depending on the weather. Austin Hunsaker has his Wildcats primed for what he hopes to be a successful season from a team he calls very coachable. Henry finished with a 7-9 record in 2009 and are led by seniors Zach Rahm and Randy Moore.

The HCHS softball team has four straight home games scheduled for the opening week, including Jeffersontown on Monday night, Carroll County on Tuesday, Gallatin County on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and Harrison County on Saturday at 11 a.m. Matt Wright took over the program after Suzanne Cates this off-season and looks to take the program up a notch. The Ladycats are coming off 24 wins in 2009 and won their fourth consecutive 31st District title. Now, Wright wants the Cats to win a fifth straight district championship and advance to the 8th Region finals for the first time in school history. The lone senior to help lead the talented group is Karie Powell.

The HCHS track squad opened its season at the Carroll County All-Comers last Thursday and will compete in the Central Invitational this Saturday in what Sedrick Williams describes as the first real test of the season. Williams is the third head coach in as many years but hopes to bring more consistency to a program that has had lots of turnover up top. His seniors are Brittany Crawford, Travis Farmer, Alexa King, Robbie McClesky and Erick Butler.

Meanwhile, four miles down the road at Eminence, the EHS baseball squad opens its season against Anderson County at 5:30 p.m. March 31 at home Mark Payton, entering his third season as the head coach, said this year’s team is far ahead of where the Warriors were at any point during his first two seasons. They finished 2009 with a 1-10 record. Seniors to lead the way are Jordan Fairchild and first-year player Trey Hernandez.

The EHS softball squad is also hoping to improve on the 2009 season when the Lady Warriors went 3-14. They opened their season on Tuesday at Louisville Collegiate and host Carroll County at 5:30 p.m. this Friday. Bill Covington takes over the program that has a lot of young players who want to get better and have the right attitude, he said.

After questioning if the Eminence track team will survive into 2010 after restarting the program five years ago, Steve Frommeyer announced that it will continue this spring. The team, which is not featured inside the Spring Sports Preview, is scheduled to start practice this week and has not made a schedule yet. TJ Cooper, a senior who has qualified for the Kentucky State Track and Field Championship in the high jump, is expected to lead the team.

Spring is officially here. I can hear it, see it, feel it and smell it. Now it’s time to sit back and watch it all unfold. Play ball!

Tommie Kendall can be reached at (502)845-2858 or sports@hclocal.com.