Franklin Co. aims for baseball playoffs JAMES O. COVINGTON

Published 6:00 am Thursday, February 15, 2001

MEADVILLE – Expecting to win. That’s the phrase the 2001 versionof the Franklin County Bulldogs have in mind this baseball season.The Dawgs are coming off a state playoff 18-9 season, promptingmany fans to believe that this year’s version may return to theglory days of reaching the Class 3A championship.

One player the Diamond Dawgs return is senior pitcher ColeZumbro, a talented right-hander, who was selected The DailyLeader’s 2000 All Area Player of the Year. Zumbro served as theBulldogs winning key last year, belting 13 homers, collecting 39RBI’s and 11 triples. On the mound, Zumbro continued his dominancewith a 7-2 worksheet that included a 5-0 division spread.

Helping Zumbro on the mound will be seniors Greg Williamsand Tyler Williamson. Sophomores Colby Beach and junior TomWimberly provide support.

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Other returning starters include strong-armed senior DavidReid at shortstop and seniors Walt Davis and Derek Buckles roamingleft and right in the outfield. Junior speedster Vance Windomreturns as centerfielder. Sophomore Dwayne Mitchell and juniorsSonny Brown and Ryan Mullins loom as reserves in the highlyorganized Bulldog outfield.

Looking at the infield positions, Bulldog head coach JohnnyMonroe expects a four-way battle for first base between seniorTyler Williamson and juniors Tom Wimberly, Kyle Trout and TommyArnold.

Working at second base will be Zumbro. When Zumbro pitches,reserve senior Wade Woodcock and juniors John Savage and CliffHerring will battle for the glamour spot. At third base, sophomoreColby Beach will mend the gap.

Looking at catcher, junior Bert Smith replaces graduate ChadJohnson. Johnson paced the Dawgs with five homers and 23 RBI’s lastyear in earning All-Division 6-3A.

As for comments on the Dawgs upcoming season, Zumbro thinksthe Dawgs are a whole lot better this year than last.

“We’ve got a better, stronger team this year,” said Zumbro.”Last year was basically a learning period in reaching the playoffsand seeing what it takes to get there. We were basically playing tosee how far we could get last year.”

Zumbro’s teammates also share his cool nature of winning andbeing better than last year’s 18-9 squad.

“We should be pretty good,” said Bulldog senior leftfielderWalt Davis. “Our goal is to win the division and hopefully make itto the Class 3A championship game in May.”

Coach Monroe expects his Dawgs to do well, but how well isstill to be decided.

“We’ll see Saturday,” said Monroe referring to the Dawgsseason opener at Natchez against Class 5A powerhouse Vicksburg.Helping Monroe coach the Dawgs is long-time Franklin County vet EdZumbro.

Highlighting the Dawgs 30-member squad will be sevenseniors, 12 juniors, five sophomores and six freshmen. Serving as2001 bat girls will be Allan Sutherland, Lindsey Smith and AmyRoss. Andrew (Gator) Johnson will serve as manager.

The Dawgs schedule includes numerous encounters withDivision 6-4A powerhouses Brookhaven, McComb, Lawrence County andSouth Pike..

2001 Bulldog Roster

SENIORS: Cole Zumbro (6-2, 210), Wade Woodcock (5-8,165), Walt Davis (6-0, 170), David Reid (5-10, 175), Greg Williams(5-10, 200), Tyler Williamson (6-3, 175), Derek Buckles (6-0,175).

JUNIORS: Kyle Trout (6-1, 170), Justin Savage (5-11,165), Vance Windom (6-0, 175), Bert Smith (5-0, 160), Sonny Brown(5-10, 165), Richard King (5-9, 160), Clint Herring (5-11, 165),Cliff Herring (5-11, 165), Tom Wimberly (6-1, 170), Tommy Arnold(6-0, 175), Jake Bradford (5-11, 165), Ryan Mullins (6-1,175).

SOPHOMORES: Seth Shelton (5-11, 165), Catlyn Wactor(5-11, 170), Todd Spring (5-8, 160), Anthony Donnan (6-1, 170),Colby Beach (6-0, 170).

FRESHMEN: Will Buckles (5-9, 160), Tyler Cummins(5-11, 165), Chase Evans (5-5, 150), Anthony Donnan (6-1, 170),Casey Lott (5-10, 160), Dan Lofton (5-10, 165).

HEAD COACH: Johnny Monroe. Assistant Coach: EdZumbro.

Manager: Andrew Johnson.

2001 Bulldog Schedule

FEBRUARY: 17 – at Natchez Classic; 20 – Tylertown 22- at Tylertown Tournamen 23 – at Lawrence County 27 -McComb.

MARCH: 2 – at Wesson ; 3 – DH LawrenceCounty, Wesson; 6 – at Port Gibson; 8 – Wilkinson County; 11 – atNatchez; 12-15 – at McComb Coca-Cola Tournament; 20 – at NorthPike; 23 – Hazlehurst; 24 – Brookhaven; 27 – at Amite County; 30 -Port Gibson’; 31 – DH at Brookhaven, Loyd Star.

APRIL: 3 – at Hazlehurst; 6 – North Pike; 7 – atNatchez Cathedral; 10 – at Wilkinson County; 12 – Amite County; 16- Loyd Star.