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Academy baseball ready to let it loose

By By Matthew Nascone
Most of the starters from the teams that made two consecutive AISA Final Fours and won the Area 1 championship last year are gone for the Escambia Academy Cougars.
The team will have to rely on returning starters, senior starting pitcher Tyler Brown, senior center fielder Dustin Hall, senior outfielder Ethan Brooks and sophomore shortstop Jon Dean to carry the load for the team.
Gone from that pitching depth are graduated seniors Kevin Maher, Joe Drew, Austin Eicher and Cody Norton.
In the field and at the plate will be more of the same for the Cougars, but Gibson said the team will find a way to make it work.
If there is one aspect of the team that is guaranteed, it would have to be senior leadership, Gibson said.
The team may be young, but that does not change the outlook on the season.
For the team to have success, Gibson knows a lot of the guys will have to do well individually also.
The quest for the playoffs begins Feb. 19 for the Cougars. They travel to face Central (Fla.) High School. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. The opening home game for the Cougars is Feb. 22 against Central as well. First pitch for that game is set for 3:30 p.m.