"Not with this group of guys,'' said the Hedgesville coach. "I think they're going to adjust just fine. They're a good group of guys that get along well and act as a family. We're going to stay focused in on what we're going to do.
"We've never been in a situation where I thought the moment overwhelmed them too much. I have a lot of confidence in the players and the coaching staff. I feel this group has a purpose and a drive to accomplish more than we've already accomplished.''
Seniors Tre Jackson (.408, 37 RBIs) and Jordan Braniff (.355, 37 RBIs) are South's top run-producers while seniors Jacob Wilcox (.373, 27 RBIs) and Braxton Johnson (.435, 19 RBIs) and junior Tyler Berry (.340, 20 RBIs) have plenty of pop. The Patriots have a stable of capable pitchers in seniors Jacob Braniff (8-0, 2.55 ERA), Brad Brubaker (6-2, 1.96), Wes Mitchem (5-1, 1.99) and Clayton Cottrille (4-2, 1.75).
"We faced a lot of adversity this year,'' said Null, whose team played without its starting shortstop and left fielder for significant portions of the season. "The guys that have gone in and played have done a nice job of carrying the flag for us.
"We've seen some good pitching and our pitchers have faced some good hitting. It all kind of came together late in the season and we've played our best baseball. We beat the No. 1 [pitchers] of both teams we played in the [regional] semis and finals [this year]. We're as prepared as we're going to get.''
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.