Though battling injuries, Raiders intent on making up for last year
Coach Doug Kesler remembers well how last season ended and hopes his players do too.
Up 2-1 on Rockdale County in the region tournament, a 21-win Madison County team was just two outs away from a trip to state.
Then it happened.
The Bulldogs rallied for an improbable win and a heartbroken Madison County team lost to Dacula a couple of hours later.
“I made them sit there and watch the other team celebrate,” recalled Kesler of the moments that followed being eliminated. “I told them I wanted to make sure that memory stayed in their mind because I didn’t want them to have to feel that way this year.”
Most of last year’s 21-11 squad — which finished in a tie for first at the end of the regular season — is still intact and ready to atone for last year’s state playoff miss. Madison County has failed to reach state the last two years.
However, various ailments have limited a number of the returning cast.
Third baseman Abby Atkinson (broken hand), outfielder Ariel Bates (hamstring), pitcher Cortney Boggs (shoulder) and outfielder Heather Echols (shoulder) have been hampered by injuries, though Echols should be ready for today’s (Thursday’s) opener.
Madison County, which went unbeaten in summer play, has had to move players around in the preseason to compensate for the litany of injuries.
For the rest of the story, see the Aug. 14 print edition of The Madison County Journal.