Can you hear it?
One may be asked that question when you visit the baseball diamond at South Putnam by head coach Harold Campbell and pitching coach Emmitt Carney. They want fans to hear the rumble of the Eagles approaching and ultimately roaring passed.
The Eagles are comprised of two seniors, two juniors, seven sophomores and four freshmen.
"We've got a big class of sophomores that are the heart of the team," Campbell said. "We've added a couple of talented freshmen that will have to help us this year."
Of its two seniors, Adam Hammond is South's only returning senior who saw action last year. Fellow senior Josh Sanders was a member of the track team last season, but Campbell believes that he can make an impact on the diamond. Campbell commented that it might take Sanders a little while to shake the rust off. He also noted Sanders' cannon of an arm and lightning speed will be an asset the Eagles will utilize.
Campbell expressed that last year's team might have sneaked up on people and surprised them but that it would be a different scenario this season. He believes the time they've devoted in the off-season will propel them through the season.
"I think no one really expected too much out of South Putnam last season. This season we don't have that advantage where we catch somebody off sleeping and surprise somebody, so the guys know they have to work that much harder," Campbell said.
With winning the name of the game, Campbell is expecting everyone to contribute and that might mean some upperclassmen spending time in the dugout.
"There's going to be some games where a senior is on the bench thinking 'Hey, that young guy's out there playing', but we've got a group that understands their roles," Campbell said. "They know they're going to do what is expected at the time they need to do it to win some ball game."
"We felt like last season things just fell together at the end of the season. We made that run to the sectional championship and that was with a group of almost all freshmen," he said.
Pitching coach Canary is a tool the Eagles utilized in the off-season and will continue to use throughout. Canary is an associate scout for the Atlanta Braves and has been instructing for more than 20 years.
Campbell is also anticipates some big things out of sophomore Brice Steinbaker on the mound. He expects Steinbaker and junior Noah Boswell to provide some quality innings on the rubber.
Some goals the Eagles have set for themselves include a 14 wins season, at least four wins by the 10-run rule and sweep two conference opponents.
They also expect to bring home the sectional and conference titles.
"I challenged them to work even harder than they did last year and we're just excited. We're going to see what they can do," Campbell commented.
South Putnam continues its season at home against Cascade at 4:30 p.m. Monday.