Finding motivation shouldn't be a problem for the Greenbrier baseball team this year.
The Wolfpack, who kick their season off in eight days, saw their season end prematurely last year. The team, known for their three state championships in the early '90s, failed to even reach the state playoffs.
"If they're not hungry now they never will be," Greenbrier baseball coach Ed Williams said.
The Wolfpack will sport a relatively new squad this year. From the starting nine in Greenbrier's final game last year, only four return to this season's roster.
One of those returners, senior Rich Poythress, is expected to lead the Greenbrier offense.
Poythress, who signed with the University of Georgia, should also hear his name called this summer in the Major League Baseball draft. The senior led the county last season with 13 home runs.
Joining Poythress is junior Lakeside transfer Jeff Rowland. Williams said those two standouts will help the Greenbrier offense, but it's his defense that will be most important.
"We'll have some offense, but I'm hoping our strength is with our defense. That's what wins for you," he said.
Another concern for the Wolfpack lies with their pitching staff. Williams said junior Brandon Cumpton will be Greenbrier's main starter. After that, the rest of the pitching rotation is still up in the air.
"We've got to find out who's going to be our No. 2 pitcher," Williams said.
Williams said sophomore Patrick McGowen has showed promise on the mound. Also, Poythress has been known to pitch when needed, but the short stop will mainly contribute with his bat.
Williams acknowledged the rumors that help for his pitching staff could be on the way. However, he also said he's pleased with what he's got.
"It's not uncommon for kids to move around from one school to another," Williams said, "but I hope that the success of our team doesn't hinge on any one person."
The Wolfpack will get their first test of the year early in the season with a home game against Harlem.
"To start off the year with such a big game is tough," Williams said. "Anytime you go against (Harlem coach) Jimmie Lewis you know it won't be easy."
Greenbrier's season opener against Harlem starts at 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27.
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