Sylacauga seniors ready to take on Homewood
SYLACAUGA—Sylacauga seniors Justin Hickman and Keith Robertson didn’t get a chance to play the last time the Aggies were in the playoffs, but they were at the games, soaking up the experience.

“The only time I’ve ever been to the playoffs was my tenth grade year at Hueytown,” Robertson said. “We played very well against them the first game, but in the best two out of three we lost twice the next day. I didn’t play because we had a lot of good seniors. They all went to college and played. They played wonderfully. We made plays—diving plays, diving catches, we had great pitching the whole game. We played a great game overall.”

Despite not playing in the games, the pair learned from older players about the importance of team chemistry, something they’re trying to teach the guys on the team who are now the younger members of the team.

“We had a lot of chemistry on that team,” Robertson said. “That’s what I’ve been trying to instill here on this baseball team. I think we’ve done a really good job with that. Team chemistry is definitely something I learned.”

Hickman echoed similar sentiments, adding that seeing the older players’ hustle left a big impression.

“They had a lot of chemistry and they were hustling every play,” Hickman said. “If some kids were down, they would go over there and help them and get them back into the game. They were just a really good round of kids.”

Hickman said he’s trying to teach the younger players about the same things he learned about during the Aggies’ 2011 playoff run.

“I come to practice, so I put 110 percent into everything,” Hickman said. “I try to tell them even though they might not be playing or getting a lot of time on Varsity, they need to come out here and give 110 percent, so they can get looked at and possibly get a chance to get in and play.”

Robertson said Homewood, with a 24-4 overall record, has formidable pitching, but they resemble a familiar opponent.

“From what coach Gibbs told us yesterday, they’ve got a couple good pitchers,” Robertson said. “One of them is going D-I [Division I] or something. They’re just like Chilton County.”

Robertson and Hickman expressed confidence in their team.

“We can beat them like how we beat Chilton County one time,” Hickman said. “We’ve just got to stick to it and go with the mindset up there to hit the ball and make the plays, make the routines. Basically, we can go up there and beat them in two games. We’ve just got to get up and be active in the dugout. That’s the main thing. We’ve also got to make our routine plays out in the field and then some, and also hit the ball well.”

Sylacauga travels to Homewood (24-4) this afternoon for a doubleheader with first pitch scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
© 2013