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The high school summer league for area baseball has been a blessing for new Starkville High School coach Brian Jones.
It has given him an opportunity to get acquainted with the program and for the players to get used to his philosophy.
Johnson takes over for Danny Carlisle, who retired after the spring season concluded.
"Like everything else, it's new," Jones said after Monday's first game against Starkville Academy, "It's new for them and new for me. I'm trying to get accustomed and learn the kids, while they learn me and to learn a different coaching philosophy that I have, not that it's any better but just different.
"It's a little bit different philosophy in the way I do things and they haven't been held accountable to those things and for the most part, most of the guys have bought in really well. There's still that learning curve and they will mess up here and there."
Jones has been doing quite a bit of teaching and has treated it like a tryout for next season.
The only opinion Jones had of the Yellowjackets coming into the summer was the three division games his Neshoba Central Rockets played against them during the season.
"It gives me a chance to see what they can or can't do," Jones said. "I told them that after every game."
The SHS lineup includes veterans like Max Bartlett and Harper Day with newcomers like Rashon Tate and Tanner Jones sprinkled in.
"We've had a couple of kids who decided this wasn't what they wanted and we've brought a couple of young kids up," Jones said. "They've done well in the spots they've played in so the future is bright.
"We've used a lot of guys in different positions so we're looking to get a feel of what will be the right combination. We've used all of our pitching and haven't thrown anybody over three innings. We want to see the guys go out, compete and see who we can depend on when the spring comes."View more articles in: