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Blue Tide fall short of playoffs
Thomas steps down as head coach; Rogers picked to replace
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The Long County High School baseball team fell short of its ultimate goal, but still ended its season on a bit of a high note.
The Blue Tide claimed a 6-5 win Friday over Atkinson County in Pearson, but it was Thursday’s 5-1 loss to Metter that essentially ended Long County’s season. In a de facto one-game playoff for a postseason spot, Metter’s victory put the Tigers into the Region 2-AA playoffs and eliminated Long County.  
Though results from Saturday’s games were not available at press time, the top four spots in the region basically were set. Benedictine Military School secured the top spot and Metter was assured of the fourth spot, with the second and third spots still to be decided by Jeff Davis and Toombs County.
Also this week, Brian Thomas, who had been the Tide’s head coach since 2008, tendered his resignation. According to LCHS Athletic Director Karen Swindell, assistant coach Tyler Rogers will take over the reins.
For the Blue Tide, the season could be looked back as being full of “what ifs.” With Friday’s win, Long County finished its season with a 14-11 overall record and a 9-9 region mark, only one game behind Metter.   The Tide opened the season by winning five of its first six games and later posted a midseason six-game win streak. However, a late-season five-game losing skid and losses in six of their last eight region games did them in.
Thomas posted three winning records in his six seasons at the helm. He took over the team in 2008 after the once-proud program had posted a 4-20 record in 2007. In his first season, he led the team back to respectability as the Tide went 14-11.  Thomas’s overall record as the head coach for Long County is 66-87 and his region record is 33-63.  Though Rogers will be losing quite a bit of talent from this year’s team, the Tide are projected to have plenty of returning starters next season, including seven seniors: Tristan Goodro, Cody Fleck, Austin Mills, Gage Kasperian, Vanda Vareen, Austin Simmons and Cole Ray.
Details of the recent Blue Tide Senior Night celebration will be in Wednesday’s Coastal Courier.

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