Jackets rode learning curve to achieve a winning baseball season
Justin Conner throws a pitch for the Starkville Yellowjackets during the season. (Photo by Lee Adams)
It has been six days since the Starkville Yellowjackets concluded the baseball season and coach Travis Garner has almost had a week to ponder what his first year was like.
When Garner took the job at SHS, he knew he was at "a disadvantage" because coaching in Mississippi was new.
Combine that with the fact that Garner decided to start six sophomores on a regular basis, the Jackets were on a learning curve all season.
Starkville finished with a winning season at 14-13 and came very close to making the Class 6A playoffs.
"Nobody really knew what we were getting into and now we do," Garner said. "This year should have been the most difficult of the foreseeable future. To play the way we played, beat Madison (Central) a couple of times, be a play at the plate away from being in the playoffs, play a team in Columbus, a nationally ranked team, to extra innings, and hang in there with Northwest Rankin, it wasn't too bad.
"We went 14-13 and beat some playoff teams. Horn Lake got in and we beat them. Greenville Weston got in and we beat them. That's not saying a whole lot, but it was a good step. I think everyone was a little frustrated that we were so close, but at the same time, with what we are dealing with, what we had and what we had to overcome, we did a good job."
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