Blue Devils deep in youth

Published 11:04 am Monday, February 14, 2011

Escambia County’s Blue Devils are back on the diamond practicing for the upcoming season, but are also battling cold weather to get work in.

The weather is not the only thing the Blue Devils are battling with a team full of young players working to take the field.

Blue Devils head coach Jason Barnett said the change in classification will help, but added his team still deals with a state champion.

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“I think changing classification will help us, but we are just trading state champions,” he said. “Last year, we had Spanish Fort and this year we have UMS-Wright.”

The biggest hit to the Blue Devils right now is being without one of their seniors in Marshall Rolin.

Barnett said not having Rolin has him looking for a shortstop.

“Right now, we don’t have Marshall because of basketball,” he said. “That has me looking for a starting shortstop until he gets back.”

Even with Rolin’s absence, the Blue Devils still have several key players from last year including Nick Flowers, Ty’Quaiz George and Keon McCants that will give ECHS a strong chance in every game.

Young players will be important in this year’s squad though, which includes two eighth graders.

“We have some young kids that will really help us,” Barnett said. “We have two eighth graders in twins Tanner and Coby Smith. They are good players who with the right work are going to turn into great players.”

The Blue Devils open the season on Feb. 21 with a game on the road at W.S. Neal.

Escambia County Blue Devil Keon McCants is one of the team’s returning players from the 2010 team.|File Photo