Wildcats Baseball Coach Jerrod Hammack will begin his 23rd season as a baseball coach and his 15th year in Sulphur Springs Friday (January 31), the first day the UIL allows after school practice. Coach Hammack said starting the season doesn’t get old and he added it is always exciting. He said he might think he knows what he’s got this season but he said you never really know until you get the players on the field. With recent wet weather, Coach Hammack said they will very likely have their first practice indoors in the Multipurpose Building. He said he looks forward to warmer and dryer weather so his team can get out on the field at Wildcat Park. After graduating a large senior class last year, Coach Hammack said he has some significant holes to fill. Experts refer to a team being strong up the middle and that’s where quite a few holes are. Shortstop Kaden Argenbright, center fielder Austin Dodd and catcher Jace Burchfield graduated. Second baseball Kolson Hale returns. So do the Wildcats top two pitchers from last year, seniors Wills Sims and Jaxon Chaney. Sims was great on the mound down the stretch last year getting pitching wins over Texas High, Hallsville and Joshua. Chaney’s return to the mound after an arm injury mirrored the Wildcats hot streak at the end of the season that saw them secure a playoff spot and advance to the second round. Versatile Jake Davis, a pitcher and outfielder, returns. Both Chaney and Sims play on the infield when they are not pitching. Catcher Austin Crouse and utility player Jaden Janway are also back. Coach Hammack said he expects not only last year’s juniors off of the JV to join the varsity but perhaps some of the sophomores as well. He said the varsity roster this year might be a bit bigger than usual. Varsity positions will be determined in scrimmages, inter squad games and tournament contests. The Wildcats will play in three tournaments. Coach Hammack said playing lots of players and determining starters is more important in the tournaments than wins and losses. As always, he said his goal is to enter district play with a set lineup. Coach Hammack said he expects to be in every game with the pitchers he has. He said the team will have to be able to score runs. He said he likes this group and feels they will play well together. He said team chemistry is half the battle. The Wildcats first scrimmage will take place in Sherman on February 10. Again this season the Wildcats will play every district opponent three times. Coach Hammack said the district race will be competitive.