E.A. Sports Today

PV tabs Youngman

Raiders’ junior high baseball coach succeeds Hamby; JCA’s Fegans, brothers transferring to Oxford

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – The Pleasant Valley baseball team will hit the diamond next spring with a new head coach in the third base box.

Darren Hamby has stepped aside and been replaced by Raiders’ junior high coach Chris Youngman, a former head coach at Jacksonville Christian.

“We felt it was time to make a change and he stepped down,” PV principal Mark Proper said. “He is all for the betterment of everything at our school and he wanted to allow the team to go to somebody else to try to make it better.”

Over the last 18 months, the Raiders have changed head coaches in their football, boys and girls basketball and baseball programs.

Hamby just completed his sixth season at the PV helm. The Raiders were the Class 3A Area 12 runners-up this past season and were swept out of the first round of the state playoffs in two close games with Westbrook Christian 3-2, 3-1. They also made the 2A playoffs under Hamby in 2013 (second round) and 2012 (first round).

He will continue to help coach the PV football team and, Proper said, “probably do some other stuff coaching wise.”

Youngman, 31, got the job Wednesday. He called it “an honor and a blessing” to be back as a varsity head coach after only one year in the PV system.

He came to the school without a job, recently married and willing to do whatever position needed to be filled. His junior high team went 9-6-1 this past season with four of the losses coming to varsity B teams. He inherits a team that loses only one senior.

“The question (Proper) asked me was where do you see our program going?,” Youngman said. “I think Pleasant Valley baseball is in a great position to do things in the next couple years. I teach sixth grade at the elementary school and when you have sixth-graders come talk to you saying we want to play there’s an excitement around the program. Hopefully we can get it turned around.

“We want to take it to the second round. I had a team meeting and asked the boys when the last time they were in the second round. They said a couple years ago, but after that they couldn’t remember. We’re in a great position to do really great things; it’s an honor and a blessing to have the title head coach.”

Youngman doesn’t have much time to settle in. The Raiders have summer workout games scheduled for Monday (at Ashville) and June 10 (at Saks). He’d like to add one more the week of the 20th.

JCA’s Fegans, brothers transferring to Oxford

JACKSONVILLE — Oxford is in line for even more basketball and football talent as brothers Antwon Fegans, Jayni Moseley and Detrick Edmondson will transfer from JCA and enroll at the Class 6A school Thursday, their father told East Alabama Sports Today Wednesday.

Fegans will be a ninth grader, but must sit out a series of football and basketball games this coming season to restore his eligibility; he’ll be able to work out with the team as the clock ticks. Moseley will be a senior and Edmondson will be a junior; they can play right away as the family moves back to Oxford.

“I feel like it’s a better spot for me and my family,” the younger Fegans said. “Oxford, that’s where I’m from; I feel like it’s time for me to come home.

“It’s going to be hard watching and not playing, but you have to overcome adversity. I just used it for motivation to prove that even though I’m sitting when I come back I’m going to be one of the best players you’ll ever know.”

Antwon Fegans Sr. said the moves were an effort to give his sons better exposure to college recruiters. “I knew we had to go somewhere bigger,” he said.

The brothers received their releases Wednesday. The family wanted to move quickly on the enrollment in order for them to participate in summer workouts with their new teammates.

East Alabama Sports Today reported Tuesday former White Plains guard Jerod Guthrie, a rising senior, had enrolled at Oxford.

PLAYING NICE: Four Calhoun County schools were recognized by the AHSAA for completing the 2015-16 athletics year fine and ejection free — Piedmont, Wellborn, Saks and Oxford.

They will be among 76 schools recognized at the AHSAA’s ninth annual Sportsmanship Luncheon July 22. More than 120 schools were recognized last year.

Piedmont was recognized for the first time last year. Oxford was recognized for the third time last year. Wellborn (and Oakman) is on the list a year after being sanctioned for a major altercation at the end of their 2014 second-round football playoff game.

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