Lee-Scott Baseball Ready to Rebound under Bolstered Staff

Lee-Scott head coach Tim Hudson visits his with his team on the mound in a Feb. 23 game against Chambers Academy. Lee-Scott won 18-8 in a five inning, run rule game. PHOTO BY JERRY BALLAS / FOR THE OBSERVER




Lee-Scott Academy won the AISA 3A Football State Championship in December. The boys and girls basketball teams made it to the Final Four earlier this month. Now, the baseball team hopes to add to the school’s athletic success in the 2022-23 school year.

Coming off a 14-18 season where the Warriors were knocked out of the playoffs in the quarterfinals by a strong Bessemer team, Lee-Scott is refocused under a new coaching staff.

“I think the biggest thing is to remember what’s expected from us athletically,” said assistant coach Jacob Ozment. “It’s no secret that athletics at Lee-Scott are expected to be championship-caliber programs. Our guys know that, and they have that expectation set for themselves.”

Rising back to the top will be a challenge newcomer head coach and 17-year MLB player Tim Hudson is no stranger to. In 2010, he earned the Comeback Player of the Year Award in the National League after tearing an elbow ligament that sidelined him for over a year.

He has also put together an experienced staff around him that will embrace the challenge of returning to form after a down year. Alongside Hudson is professional MLB and Korean-League player Anthony Lerew, former Auburn University baseball player Dan Gamache, former Southern Union player and coach Patrick Reeves, along with fourth- and sixth-year Lee-Scott coaches Brian Cole and Clay Samford, respectively.

Ozment is in his sixth season at Lee-Scott as well.

“It’s kind of difficult to ignore the fact that these high school athletes not only have the incredible opportunity to work with a 17-year MLB veteran with college coaching experience, but the staff coach Hudson’s got around us is incredible as well,” Ozment said. “Having Tim with us is a blessing — the knowledge he brings and the coaching staff he’s put together with insurmountable amounts of wisdom around the game and the way they can communicate the game. Our guys realize that not every school gets this opportunity.”

The Warriors haven’t gotten the outcomes they want so far this season, but according to Ozment, they are right where they want to be.

With an eight-inning loss to Calvary Christian and a 5-3 loss to St. Anne-Pacelli, Lee-Scott got off to an 0-2 start. However, with seven seniors — including Tim’s son Kade Hudson and a pair of Auburn High transfers, Lane Eddins and Garrett West — the team had a chance to self-evaluate versus stiff competition early in the season.

The Warriors have benefitted from those early evaluations. Since losing their first two games, they have won eight straight, including a win in the Edgewood Tournament last weekend, as well as two defeats of Bessemer, the team that ended their season in 2022.

Ozment also talked about the team’s cohesiveness. The team consists of a good mix of seniors, a strong junior class and a sophomore class that went to Louisiana to play in the Dixie Youth World Series together in 2019.

“We have a lot of guys that have played together for a while, and our two guys that transferred in have really just hit it in stride with us,” Ozment said. “Team chemistry is going really well. As far as that one standout guy, I don’t think that’s our situation right now.”

With the AISA shrinking and the Warriors participating in an expanded six-team region, Lee-Scott recognizes that winning its region might be the toughest part of getting its second state title in school history, adding to the ring that it won in 2002.

But it’s a challenge that the Warriors are enthusiastic to face.

“We’re not there yet, but I think our guys definitely see the potential that we’ve got,” Ozment said after the first two games of the season. “I think it’s a matter of us executing in-game so they can see what their full potential is.”


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