Diamond Preview 2022: Banks County
The Lady Leopards had a down year by their own standards in terms of wins and losses in 2021. However, a 10-10 short season still netted a region championship, a #5 state ranking, and a Sweet 16 run that ended just shy of a Columbus run for a fifth straight year. The state championship is now three years removed, and Davis has a team that remains in the mix for a region title (four in the past five seasons) and a threat to get to Columbus, where anything can happen after that.
Head Coach: Derrick Davis, 2nd season
2021 Record: 10-10; Sweet 16; Region 8-AA Champions; #5 State Ranking
Key Departures: N/A
Key Returning Players: Jacy Ayers, Lindsey Crawford, Jodie Hood, Alexus Humphries, Ellie Presa
This is a team that had zero seniors a year ago. Even with a roster void of senior leadership, the girls continued to have great success, as has become the norm for the program. Ayers (2.10 ERA, 35 K) will be crucial as the senior leader and ace in the circle, and is joined by fellow senior Crawford (2.06 ERA, 41 K) in those roles. Offensively, look for Hood (.462 AVG, 11 RBI) and Humphries (.371 AVG, 10 RBI) to have explosive senior years. Presa should continue to make huge strides as well.
Strengths & Areas of Focus
Strengths: Experience & Familiarity.
At this point, Banks County’s lineup and roster remains intact from last year. Even going back the previous season (2020), it was a young team with just Madi Cronic as the lone senior. These seniors in 2022 will have a shot to write their own ending, and don’t sell them short!
Focusing On: Consistency.
Last year, the team only got 20 games in. That hurt. Granted, when the games mattered most, Banks County played and got the job done. But a lot of reps were left on the field last season. That also meant gaps between games that you normally didn’t see. So this year, consistency in being on the diamond and getting natural game reps will be key.