TEXARKANA, Texas — Pleasant Grove's boys of spring are back.
The Hawks come into the new baseball season with strong focus and clear goals in mind under head coach Riley Fincher.
"Our primary goal is to improve every day," Fincher said. "Improvement comes by competing in practice, in the classroom and on the field when we are playing. We feel like if we continue to improve every single day, then the end results will take care of themselves.
"We have a great group of kids here from freshmen up to seniors. The best thing they do is that they come to work every day. Whether it's work in the classroom, weight room or in practice, they are always wanting to work and learn more. They aren't only students of the game but love everything about baseball."
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, last year's season was canceled. Pleasant Grove's baseball players have been looking forward to this season for a year. Team camaraderie is one of the big positives for the Hawks.
"We have great team chemistry," Fincher said. "We have a group that, generally, enjoys each other's company. Sometimes they eat breakfast, lunch and dinner together. They want each other to be successful, so they are going to hold their teammates accountable. The unselfishness of this team is a big positive."
Senior Tucker Anderson, who has signed with Ouachita Baptist University, is the main leader for Pleasant Grove. Tucker is entering his fourth year on the Hawks' varsity team.
"Tucker has done a great job of leading by example and has done a great job in being more vocal this year than he has in the past," Fincher said. "He has taken ownership of it, and it's cool to see. Tucker has familiarity with the program. He is one of the main guys that we will be dependent on."
Anderson is the primary pitcher for Pleasant Grove and also is a solid hitter. When he is not pitching, Anderson will start at first base.
Junior Brock Bearden, junior Alex Murphy and sophomore JM Long along with Anderson will provide the big bats for the Hawks. Pleasant Grove has nine seniors on the team.
"All of our seniors have put in all four years with the high school," Fincher said. "They know the expectations here that we have both on and off the field. Those guys are eager to get back out and play after last season was stopped.
"Our biggest challenge this year will be unknown; mainly, the unknown with COVID-19 and the weather. The question for us is how are we going to handle the things that we cannot control. It's about adjusting and overcoming the situations. I believe the guys are mentally strong enough and will handle it in the right way. Showing their maturity will go a long way this season."
2021 HAWK BASEBALL
Feb. 22=at Atlanta=5 p.m.
Feb. 25-26=at Marshall tournament=TBA
March 4-5=at Spring Hill tournament=TBA
March 9=x-at Pittsburg=6 p.m.
March 11-12=at Hallsville tournament=TBA
March 16=x-Paris=6 p.m.
March 19=x-at Liberty-Eylau=6 p.m.
March 23=x-North Lamar=6 p.m.
March 26=x-at Gilmer=6 p.m.
March 30=x-at Pittsburg=6 p.m.
April 2=x-at Paris=6 p.m.
April 6=x-Liberty-Eylau=6 p.m.
April 9=x-at North Lamar=7:30 p.m.
April 13=x-Gilmer=6 p.m.
April 15=Ashdown=5 p.m.
April 16=x-Pittsburg=6 p.m.
April 20=x-Paris=6 p.m.
April 23=x-at Liberty-Eylau=6 p.m.
April 27=x-North Lamar=6 p.m.
April 30=x-at Gilmer=6 p.m.
x-District 15-4A game.