Vaughan excited about Pam Pack baseball

Published 7:01 am Tuesday, March 3, 2009

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
With snow spitting in the area, it doesn’t feel much like baseball season. However, Washington Pam Pack coach Darin Vaughan is ready to get the season started.
Washington was supposed to start the season today at Farmville Central. However, expected cold weather forced the teams to push the game to Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
The Pack will then play at Jacksvonville on Thursday.
Washington will play its first home game at Futrell Field on Monday against Jacksonville.
Vaughan has some high expectations for his team this year.
Vaughan is bringing some stability to the Pam Pack program. He became the team’s fourth coach in four years when he took over for Rufus Wilson in 2007. Rick Anderson coached in 2005 and Marvin Burke was the head coach the prior two years.
Vaughan and his players are growing quite comfortable with each other.
Senior David Tyson will be one of the Pack’s leaders this year. He’ll get the start on the mound in Wednesday’s season opener.
Justin Meekins and Cole Hartley will platoon at catcher. Vaughan said he has “a lot of confidence” in both players.
Gil Broadway, who will see some time on the hill this year, will start at first base. Brandon Thomas and Meekins will also see some time at first.
Washington’s infield will be solid with the return of Jake Duke, Austin Thompson and Christopher Everette. Duke, who opened some eyes at a baseball camp in Florida, will likely start at second base. Thompson will get the nod at shortstop and Everette will start at the hot corner.
The outfield will consist of All-American Justin “Gator” Moore, Jimmy Hardison and Cody House. Vaughan noted that Justin “Weasel” Moore will also compete for a starting spot in the grass.
Vaughan anticipates another competitive year in the Coastal Conference.
Vaughan doesn’t believe confidence or effort will be an issue this year.
Whitehead to lead Lady Pack
Sports Editor
While Doug Whitehead begins his first year as the Washington Lady Pam Pack softball coach, he’s no stranger to Washington athletics.
Whitehead, who becomes the team’s third coach in three years, has been involved in athletics most of his life. He’s been to most Pam Pack athletic events, including several softball games to watch his daughters, Meredith and Cameron, play.
Meredith, now an assistant coach at D.H. Conley, was a WDN All-Area First Team first baseman in 2003. Cameron, now attending East Carolina, was a WDN All-Area First Team third baseman in 2006
Whitehead replaces David Daniel, who guided the team last year. Emily Pake coached Washington in 2006 and 2007.
Whitehead, whose wife, Valerie, also attends several Washington sporting events, and his Lady Pack team are slated to open the season at 4:30 p.m. today at Northside. Temperatures are expected to be in the 30s.
The Lady Pack will play its home opener Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. against North Pitt.
Washington returns several players off last year’s team, including three-time WDN Pitcher of the Year, Charity Watson. The senior, who will play at Pitt Community College next year, has recorded 52 wins in her career.
Watson has four perfect games, 14 no-hitters (fourth best on NCHSAA Record Sheet), 39 shutouts (fourth best on NCHSAA Record Sheet) and 886 strikeouts (sixth best on NCHSAA Record Sheet).
Catching Watson will be Hayley Stowe, who played soccer last year and will replace the departed Marissa Fucito.
Kayla Spain, a senior, will start at first base. Washington’s other senior, Brittany Bryant, will start at third.
Kristi Wood will man second base while Lily Ann Arnold will start at shortstop.
Roaming the outfield will be Brittany Moss, Stacey Mayer and the team’s lone freshman, Morgan Bryant.
The reserves are Kelli Kosto, Cailey Harrison.
The Lady Pack reached the third round of the state playoffs for the first time in school history last year. Whitehead is hoping for more success this year.
Whitehead knows it won’t be easy. South Central won the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3A state championship last year.