Buchholz’s Baseball Coach Ron Brooks’ Take On The Upcoming Season

High School baseball season is here and athletic director and varsity baseball Head Coach Ron Brooks talks about the upcoming season for Buchholz High School’s team. From last year’s season to this year’s team, its strengths, and the upcoming schedule.

Coach Ron Brooks

Head Coach Ron Brooks has been coaching for 19 years, and this will be his 13th year at Buchholz High School. When asked how he feels about being a coach again for another year, he states his excitement about the team, the staff, the people he works with, and the group’s future.

“Still excited as ever about coaching. Really excited about our coaching staff. All and all, excited about the direction of our program, and we are going in.” -Coach Ron Brooks.

Previous Season

Outcomes

Last season, the team was 18-7-1 and went to district finals but did not make the playoffs due to the changes in the format. Years prior, the top two teams would go out of the team who made district championships. Now playoffs are based on overall team rank. Coach Brooks expresses how he enjoys the change. “I like the change; I like the way they did it. Unfortunately, for us, it didn’t work last year,” said Brooks.

When talking about his players, he mentioned how many were freshmen or players in their first season. He commented regarding the boys having to step up quickly. “I think it will boat well for us this year because they were thrown in the fire young and responded well,” said Brooks. He pointed out that they had a good year for a new team, but “we are not going to call it successful.” Believing that because many from this group have returned, it will allow for the next few seasons to be excellent and successful.

This Years Team and Strengths

Team Strengths

Brooks is very proud of his pitching staff and defense. He has many returning players ready to work harder than ever for a chance to win the playoffs. Many of the players Coach Brooks talks about are sophomores or juniors. Coach Brooks is expecting a significant return for the next few years.

Players

From the pitching staff- Austin Cardozo, Anthony Wilkie and Joaquin Gardner-Davila. He’s happy to see Austin Cardozo and Anthony Wilkie returning for another season with their performances. Anthony Wilkie has committed to Clemson University. He named Joaquin Gardner-Davila a great asset as a freshman and is looking forward to his season this year. He included a new face to the mound Connor Brown who transferred to the school this year. “Excited about him playing in-field and defensively.”

When discussing the middle, he brought up  William Cooper Collins and Cedaris Smith, both returning players this season. Senior Donny Hiebert will be leading the outfielders. Coach Brooks noted Donny Hiebert as a “Very good football player, brings a lot of toughness to the team.” Behind the plate will be Noah Hayse, a student committed to the University of Central Florida. For those wondering, he hopes to improve consistency in their offense in the lineup this season.

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Upcoming Schedule

Based on the upcoming schedule, he mentioned Buchholz has a strong baseball and athletic team. They try very hard every year to be resilient and aggressive. When asked how this schedule compares to last season, he said, “I believe it [the schedule] lines up this season the same way as the past. We are going to have a tough and competitive schedule like we always do.” Coach Brooks recommends a few games that he feels will be the most competitive and entertaining. Games include Forest, Bishop Kenny, Columbia and Leon. Their Senior Nigh will be at home against Gainesville High School.

Overall, the team is expected to improve from last year. Building on the foundation, they have implemented the previous season in their young and new team. Many players are returning for their second or more seasons. Coach Brooks has high expectations for this team and their chances of going into the playoffs and bringing home a championship win.

 

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