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Tigers’ Tice named area’s top skipper

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
WILLIAMSTON — During practice his players hate him, but after games they love him. Such is life for a Williamston Tigers’ baseball player under the self-described “dictator” on the diamond Hank Tice.
While he may be stern at times, it’s hard to argue with the results. Tice, who joined the Williamston baseball coaching staff as an assistant in 1995 under head coach Herbie Rogers, has been involved in 11 straight conference championship teams, winning the last three on his own as the Tigers’ head skipper.
Coaching a squad that featured only three players with varsity experience, Tice led his team to an 18-8 record, while taking the Tigers all the way to the fourth round of the NCHSAA 1-A playoffs.
Tice’s ability to mold young talent and extract the most out of his players made him a no-brainer choice as the Washington Daily News Baseball Coach of the Year.
Some coaches struggle with when and how long to lean on a kid, but Tice has it down pat.
Rogerson likened Tice to a big brother that gives you a hard time, but always has your best interest at heart.
Tice coaches from the same book as a Bill Parcells, using ribbing and jokes as a tool to get across lessons. While Parcells’ players swear they hate him, they are the same ones who will sign a free-agent contract with his team because they love playing under him; and they win.
Williamston senior, and WDN Hitter of the Year A.J Peaks has been through three seasons with Tice, and while he admitted his skipper got under his skin once or twice, he was quick to credit him with being a fantastic coach.
For over a decade the Tigers’ have been the model program for area baseball. So what’s Williamston’s secret?
Tice was quick to credit the area’s youth leagues and coaches.
The long-time coach said that this year’s team stands out due to its team chemistry and will to win.
The Tigers’ coach said that this season’s team was one of the tightest he has been around.