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Spring 2017

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4 — Goldsboro News-Argus Friday, March 10, 2017 We Have What You Need For the Game!! 919-734-0741 Goldsboro's Leading Natural Medicine Pharmacy 2303 Wayne Memorial Drive • www.raperdiscountdrugs.com RAPER DISCOUNT DRUGS Health and Wellness Center • Stadium Chairs • Folding Chairs • Drink Huggers • Coolers • Tents • Key Covers • Blankets • Backpacks • Tables • Bottle & Wine Glass Co vers & Much More! FREE City-wide delivery of prescriptions to your home or work! Serving Wayne County for over 50 Years 64DCT0317J Faith Christian • CONQUERORS HEAD COACH: JUSTIN SMITH • NCCSA 2-A REGION 4 • 2016 RECORD: 4-10 News-Argus/CASEY MOZINGO The 2017 Faith Christian Academy baseball team PLAYER POS. YR. 3 Cooper Voeller OF So. 4 Caleb Heath IF/P So. 5 Dylan Downey IF/P Sr. 6 Daniel Thompson IF/OF/P Fr. 7 Jordan Hill OF Jr. 8 Cal Reese IF/P So. 9 Dail Spencer U Sr. 10 Alex Watson OF/P Jr. 11 Jackson Freeman IF/P Fr. 12 Harrison Freeman U Sr. 13 Ethan Glover IF/OF/P Sr. 14 Logan Pittman U Fr. 21 Tulsa Hudson OF Sr. 2017 ROSTER DATE OPPONENT March 6 Hilltop Christian* March 7 Raleigh Christian March 13 at Wilm. Christian* March 16 at Liberty Christian March 23 at Greenville Christian* March 24 Liberty Christian March 27 Wilson Christian* April 3 Bethel Christian* April 4 Wilm. Christian* April 11 at Berean Baptist* April 13 Friendship Christian* April 25 at Bethel Christian* April 28 Greenville Christian* END OF REGULAR SEASON * — NCSAA 2-A Region 4 games 2017 SCHEDULE By BEN COLEY bcoley@newsargus.com Inexperience has served as an unwelcomed trademark for the Faith Christian baseball pro- gram in the last four sea- sons. The 2013 and 2014 squads each had one sen- ior. The 2015 and 2016 versions both had three. It wouldn't be uncom- mon for Conquerors' head coach Justin Smith to fill the roster with sev- enth and eighth graders. Although 2017 brings joy to his eyes. Faith has five seniors on the roster, the most since 2012 when that team had seven seniors. "These guys have played together and they have combined experi- ence and they're natural leaders in our school," Smith said. "I think that's going to carry over to a different level of expectancy from the younger guys." The class of 2017 includes Dylan Downey, Tulsa Hudson, Dail Spence, Harrison Free- man and Ethan Glover. Freeman and Spence did- n't play on last year's team, but Smith still expects both to con- tribute. In past years, the Con- querors have relied on younger talent since experience didn't play a factor. Having youth- filled teams posed its share of challenges, which is why the school now has a middle school team for the younger players. With bigger varsity teams that included 13- and 14-year-olds, the vet- eran coach said it's tougher to individually work with each player. Now the developing players have more chances to see the field and progress before they reach the varsity level. "(The middle school team) has been a long time coming for us," Smith said. "What that does is that lets them compete, try out and have their own schedule. It's preparing them and giving them playing time and practice time versus having only one squad with seventh grade through 12th grade." The Conquerors' sen- iors do bring wisdom to the dugout, but Smith noted the sources of lead- ership come from all ages. A part of that list includes freshman catch- er Jackson Freeman, sophomore Cal Reese and Downey. That leadership group — along with a few oth- ers on the team — play several different posi- tions. Smith said when players move around the field, they're able to help others know about a par- ticular position. "Through the years, you know the kids that are just natural leaders and know baseball well and are very confident," Smith said. "They sense the need to step up, and some of them are younger." The growth in maturi- ty is a continuation of the progress Faith has made the past two sea- sons. In 2015, the Con- querors posted a 2-13 record. That mark slight- ly improved to 4-10 in 2016. The Conquerors' skip- per said the team dealt with injuries last season and kids being out due to personal issues. He now thinks Faith has the core pieces to make a move if things fall into place. "I think if we keep everybody healthy and everybody's here at the games, we should expect way more than what we've seen the last two years," Smith said. Smith believes two of the seniors, Downey and Glover, will provide cru- cial pitching and batting for Faith this season. In 2016, Glover hit .303 and led the team in doubles. Downey — who played just nine of 14 games due to injury — batted .250 and accounted for seven runs. Smith: A year of growth leads to higher expectations HWY. 70 BYPASS EAST • GOLDSBORO, N.C. Now Open Saturdays 9am-2pm w w w. d o u g h e n r y g o l d s b o r o . c o m 919-580-5900 13DDWW0316J© Doug Henry wishes all area baseball teams a successful season! ■ Faith Christian has five seniors on 2017 roster — the most since 2012. See GROWTH, Page 8

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