Corbin baseball Head Coach Cody Philpot is tasked with replacing a talented group of seniors in his second year at the helm. At the end of last season Philpot and his staff said goodbye to Nick Vorbeck, who was a fantastic power hitter and outfielder. They also said goodbye to Austin O’Neill, who was a great asset to the Hounds behind the plate at his catcher position. Andrew Jones was another outgoing senior. He unfortunately spent most of the year sidelined with an injury, but he provided a lot of great leadership, whether it was on the field or in the dugout. Finally, Trevor Browning came out to play baseball his senior year, and had an immediate positive impact on the team.
Philpot said that he will certainly miss those four gifted athletes, but he is also excited about his returning group in 2016. This year’s Corbin baseball team will once again feature four seniors – Peyton Buford, Michael May, Connor Hicks and John Gilbert. All of these players will look to play key roles in the Redhounds’ success on the diamond in the months ahead, each bringing something unique to the table.
May and Hicks in particular should help make Corbin strong on the pitching mound, along with junior Cole Brock. Coach Philpot said that if he had to identify one strength on this year’s team, it would probably be pitching. May, Hicks and Brock all logged impressive performances on the mound last season, so Philpot will definitely be hoping to see more of the same this spring.
Philpot said that, in addition to the veteran leadership on this year’s roster, he is also expecting to see big things from several of his younger players as well. “We have a pretty good mix of older guys and younger guys,” he explained. “We do have some holes to fill, but we have 4-5 guys that should be returning to their roles from last year. There are also some freshmen and sophomores that I am really excited about. Overall, our team chemistry is great.”
Philpot continued, saying that he is no longer able to single out just one or two guys that he will be depending on to produce the bulk of the results. Instead, he said that he feels like the team will be more consistent throughout the lineup.
In terms of where the Hounds will stack up against their opponents in the 50th District and 13th Region, Philpot said, “South Laurel lost a lot. That was an impressive group of guys that they had last year. I feel like we do have a shot, but there is never an assumption that we will make it to the region tournament.”
“Whoever we play in the first round of the district tournament will be a formidable opponent. We just try to concentrate more on us. We feel like if we take care of what needs to be taken care of, we can win some games. We’re going to have to show up day-in and day-out and take care of us, though. South currently owns our district, and the region, and those titles are theirs until we take it away from them. We plan on competing with them, and we know that we can, but we are going to have to earn it.”
Dana White eager to lead Lady Hounds into the future
Two years ago, Chris Hart was beginning his final season as head coach of the Corbin Lady Hounds softball program. Last year, former CHS baseball great Jake Mahan took the reigns as the team’s new head coach. Now, in 2016, the Lady Hounds are welcoming in yet another new head coach – Dana White.
White may be new to the head coach position, but she is not new to Corbin softball. In fact, she served as an assistant to Coach Hart in 2014. She moved up the road a few miles to help out with North Laurel’s softball program in 2015, but she says that she is happy to be back at CHS, which is where she always knew she wanted to be.
“I know a bunch of the girls and their families already, and I have good relationships with them,” said White. “I’m really excited about being back here as the new head coach. I know there is a lot of history here, and I want to help this team get back to where it once was. I want to really push to see what the program can become.”
The Lady Hounds ended the 2015 season with a 12-21 record, but they were able to finish with a strong showing in the 13th Region tournament. White is hoping to build off of that this spring, but she will have to do it with a roster full of younger players. “I have no seniors this year,” she explained. “But I have some really good leadership in my juniors and sophomores. I see that leadership in all of my girls, really. They just work so well together.”
“I’m going to push them to be their best,” White continued. “They’re responding really well so far, so I think that we will be able to achieve our goals. When you get a group of girls to buy into the team, when they accept that and come together with a common goal, then it really is amazing what they can accomplish together.”
White said that she wants to instill in her players a sense of family, saying, “When the team acts like a family, they’re not just playing for themselves. They’re playing for their teammates and their coaches. When you can do that, good things will happen.”
While encouraging a close-knit atmosphere, White also made it known that she has high expectations for how her girls should perform on the playing field. “I do have high expectations,” she said. “Everyone knows that, and they have accepted that. I told them that I am going to challenge them every day, and if they’re not up for the challenge, they don’t need to be here. I only want players that are going to strive for success, and be able to step up to any challenge that is in front of them.”
Overall, White is feeling good about coming into her first season as head coach of the Lady Hounds. She knows that there is much work to be done, but she is seems confident in the abilities of her athletes.
She wanted to encourage everyone to come out and support the team this year, especially with a long stretch of homes games scheduled to start off the season.