Tiger baseball to begin

Coach Parker Gordon (r) works with players (back row, l-r) Antione Deloach, Kaliq Jordan, (front row) Brian Crooms and John Luke Glanton during practice Monday afternoon. 

photo by dan henderson.

This year’s Metter High School baseball team is fired up and ready to play following a season of not playing due to COVID-19 restrictions. Metter will open their season against Long County on Tuesday in a 6 p.m. away game.

Coach Zach Rackett said, “The guys are excited for the opportunity, especially after losing last season to a pandemic. We lost three seniors but return a group who is motivated to have a successful season but need time to improve and take pride in doing the ‘little things’ effectively.”

The Georgia Dugout Preview has ranked Metter High #3 in their Class-A Preseason Poll, and seniors Brian Crooms and Randan Rigdon have been picked as Class-A Public Preseason First Team All-State. 

Both Crooms and Rigdon have already signed to play baseball at the college level upon graduation. Crooms signed with South Georgia State College, and Rigdon signed with the University of South Carolina - Aiken. 

“We have a good group of guys who enjoy being around each other. It will be a challenging season because of a challenging schedule with many talent-loaded teams,” said Coach Rackett. 

The roster includes senior players Brian Crooms, #7; Antione Deloach, #1; Tyler Kirkland, #15; Randan Rigdon, #2; and Brendan Wood, #12.

Junior players include Kyzer Anthony, #6; John Luke Glanton, #3; Reese Hadden, #11; and Eric Bragg, #17.

Sophomore players are Kaliq Collins, #4; Trey Hall, #9; RJ Coney, #5; Jayden Deloach, #8; Aiden Woodcock, JV; DJ Redding, JV.

Freshman on the roster are Rustan Rigdon, #13; Isaiah Cruz, JV; and T. Spann, JV.

The team will be led by Head Coach Zach Rackett and Assistant Coaches Riley Kingery, Parker Gordon and Skyler Smith. Nick Waters will also assist the coaches and staff. 

“Coach Kingery, Gordon and Smith are hard at work to help these players reach their full potential.  How much they care about this program really shows. It is great to be surrounded with men like that,” said Coach Rackett.

Randy Crooms, father of player Brian Crooms, issued a special request for the community come out and support the team this year. 

“A big, excited home crowd has a recognizable relationship to the team’s performance, especially over time. Athletes focus on the task at hand, which is playing the game. But they are inspired and perform better with a crowd cheering for them,” he said.

“I’ve been challenging the community to come out and support the baseball team ever since we moved (back to Metter) three years ago, and I have come up short,” said Crooms. “Metter folks always come out to football games, and that’s great. I simply don’t understand why we can’t get anywhere close to that turnout for baseball.”

Crooms went on to say that there’s a “very real chance” for the Tigers “to be a great and historical” team this coming year. 

“We expect to have a good team and a really good chance of winning the region and going deep into the playoffs this year. 

“Georgia’s baseball community recognizes how good Metter should be and is projecting them to possibly challenge for the championship. It would be great to see our stands full to cheer them on,” Crooms said. 

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