Thursday, June 20, 2013
New Goose Creek High School baseball coach Chris Pond is venturing onto fertile ground.
The Gators can bring back all but one senior from this past spring's team, including two-time all-state selection Cody Smith and 2013 all-region outfielder Chris Singleton.
“Everybody's back,” GCHS Principal Jimmy Huskey said. “My expectation is for him to build a program. I want the community involved. I want him going down to our middle schools and our elementary schools.
“I want little Gators becoming big Gators eventually.”
Pond leaves rural Timberland after being the only baseball coach the school has ever known. He spent 17 years in St. Stephen after graduating from Coastal Carolina. He was a two-time all-Big South selection at shortstop for the Chanticleers before taking over the Wolves as a 22-year-old young man.
“He was in a Class AA school way out there and it was very tough to keep kids interested in playing baseball,” Huskey said, “but he knows baseball ... he's very excited about coming here.”
Being close to home likely factored heavily into Pond's decision, Huskey said. Pond lives in Goose Creek and had been making the 30-minute drive to St. Stephen.
This past spring, the Gators finished 11-11 and won just one of eight region games. Goose Creek's top baseball season under Scott Durham was in 2008 when they finished 18-9.
Durham recently resigned to take the top football job at Andrews High School.
Smith, a pitcher/infielder, batted .485 this spring with 22 RBIs, 11 doubles and three triples. Only two players in Goose Creek history have hit for a higher average.
Singleton was second in batting with a .354 average and had two of the Gators' three home runs.
Junior infielder/pitcher Sean Freeland batted .292 followed by sophomores Michael Cedotal (.286) and Zach Owens (.283).
On the mound, Smith and junior Tyler Rio had four victories apiece and ERAs below 2.00.
Smith struck out 59 batters in 43-plus innings and Rio had 42 strikeouts in 37 innings.
Pond will also serve as an assistant football coach under Chuck Reedy.