Last year’s team banded together after injuries plagued them in the early part of the season. The team won six games despite having a grueling schedule.
“We really pulled it together once we got everyone back from injuries,” said Cheraw head coach Sonny Usher.
Usher says that as a part of a commitment to improving the team as a whole, preseason workouts and conditioning began sooner than last year. With such a young team, Usher felt it was important to allow the team chemistry to build early as opposed to late in the season.
Among the returning players on this year’s team are seniors Tyler Jennings, Chase Williams and Cameron Crouse. All three players will be called upon to provide leadership for the young team both on an off the field.
“We demand that the senior players set the pace on the field,” Usher said. “That’s a role that they should be in because they’re the most seasoned players.
Junior Rashad Hancock and sophomores Joel Usher, Michael Tucker, Cesar Silva and Miguel Espinoza are some of the younger players that could have an impact on the Braves’ this season and seasons to come. Usher says that he’s pleased with the work all of the youngsters have put in and he expects good things from them in the future.
This season, the Braves are in a new region and look to set the tone early. Usher says that Dillon will be one of the stronger teams in the region. Loris, Aynor, Marion and Mullins are also in Region 8-AA.
“We should place first or second in the region,” Usher said. “I think we will have some good games against Dillon. They have a good team and I know the coaches really well. The games could go either way.”
The team’s finish in region play will impact their seeding for the playoffs.
Usher says that one of the main goals this season is to try to pick up more victories and improve as an overall team.
“We have a lot of younger players this season,” Usher said. “We just have to get them more experience and get them more comfortable out there on the field. A lot of our success will depend on how fast we get acclimated to playing with each other as a team.”