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Comets diamonders working toward season opener

The weather hasn’t been the most favorable, but Halifax County High School Head Varsity Baseball Coach Kelvin Davis, his coaching staff and players continue to press on toward their March 13 home season opener. Davis and his coaching staff have compiled one of the largest team rosters in recent seasons, with 19 players on board for the 2012 season.

The roster includes several familiar faces from last year’s Comets team that played its way into the state quarterfinals. Among them are three of the team’s top pitchers from last season, seniors Dylan Sons, Ryan Puryear and Ford Bradshaw.

Patrick Barton, who was also part of last year’s mound staff, also returns and junior Seth Elliott could also see time on the mound this season.

Halifax County High School also appears to be deep at the catcher position with senior Dylan Hendricks and sophomore Tristan Howerton returning and junior Avery Anderson joining the fold.

Seniors Joe Martin and William Worley, both of whom were solid both offensively and defensively last season, return.

Comets assistant coach Kenneth Day said the recent spate of wet weather that has kept the team off of the field has hurt some, but that the players have continued to work hard in drills on the parking lot and in the gym, as well as in the batting cage.

“The weather has hurt some, but the guys have been working really hard,” Day said.

“We’re continuing to work on a lot of things and the guys are making good progress. “We had a really good day on Tuesday,” he added.

“We’ve got our pitchers throwing a couple of times a week. We’re working on getting them in shape and getting them ready to start the season.”

Day said the focus has been on shoring up the defense in the middle of the field. The Comets lost veteran players at shortstop, second base and centerfield due to graduation and will have new faces in those positions this season.

“We’ve got to find guys that can play in the middle,” Day pointed out, “and we’re working on that every day. Being good defensively up the middle is very important. We’ve got to see which guys are going to step up and be the leaders in those positions.”

Halifax County High School will play an 18-game regular-season schedule that will begin with the team’s March 13 home season-opener against Liberty Christian Academy.

The Comets will again play in the annual Franklin County High School invitational tournament on March 16-17, facing LCA and Group AAA Northwest Region Cardinal District member C.D. Hylton High School.

New to the Comets’ schedule this season are Group AAA Northwest Region Cardinal District member Freedom High School of Woodbridge and Group AAA Central Region Dominion District member Cosby High School of Midlothian.

The Comets will face Freedom High School in a doubleheader in Woodbridge on Friday, April 6 and will face Cosby here on Friday, April 13.

Halifax County High School will play a pair of scrimmage games, but the scrimmage games will not be played until after the regular-season schedule has started.

The Comets will face Hughesville, Pa. High School, a team coached by former Comets baseball standout Casey Waller, here on March 23. Later the Comets will play a scrimmage game against Garden City, N.Y. on April 11.