Bradwell Institute baseball coach Rhett Hellgren said he was pleased with his team’s progress this season. The Tigers claimed their first win against Camden County in more than seven years and made it to the first round of playoffs, finishing fourth in region 3-AAAAA.
"It was unfortunate that we drew a team as good as East Coweta," Hellgren said about facing off against a team whose pitcher is the son of former Atlanta Braves pitcher Steve Bedrosian. "They are a very solid team. They hit the curve ball like I have not seen a team hit the curve ball in a long time."
The Tigers fell to the East Coweta Indians 0-10 in game one and 5-14 in game two against the Indians on Friday.
Most of Hellgren’s players have worked with the coach for the past three years since he took over the team. Hellgren said the squad’s work ethic has changed dramatically.
"I would like to say that I have great bunch of kids and they played hard most of the season," he said. "We need to build on what we did this year for next year and the years to come."
The Tigers will lose starters Dominic Materne, Trivon Williams, Frank Meekins, Steven Dill, DeAnte Day and Tony Viscarra.
"I am going to miss our seniors and I hope for the best for all of them," Hellgren said.
However, Hellgren has several players who stepped up this season and will return next year. Replacing Dill on the mound will be his younger brother Jacob. Catcher Josh Driggers will help the team behind the plate and key starters Eran Hodge, Zach Hawkins, Ulrich Johns, Alton Malpass and Josh Rivers will lead the team in 2010.
"We have a lot of key players returning and if they work hard, not only on the field but in the weight room, we will have the opportunity to do better next year," Hellgren said. Hellgren also has key reserves who may step into starting roles with continued improvement, such as Garrett McCorkle, Leonard Felton, Eric Wells and Mitch Rogers.
Hellgren said he was thankful to his coaching staff, who put in countless hours in getting the team game-ready and helping him throughout the season.
The Tigers wrapped up 2009 with a 9-19 overall record and 7-5 in the region.