Cannon meets players for first time

Published 7:05 pm Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Escambia Academy head baseball coach Mickey Cannon speaks with players for the first time on Monday afternoon.

A “class operation” is the type of program that new Escambia Academy baseball coach Mickey Cannon wants to run, and that is the message he conveyed to his new players in his first meeting with the team.

Cannon met with the baseball players Monday afternoon at the Cougars’ field house at Bachelor Field to tell them how he wanted to do things this season.

In his meeting with the team, Cannon spoke about his experience, practice schedule and how he wanted his players to conduct themselves.

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The latter he said is the type of program he wants to run.

“I want this to program to be a class operation,” he said. “From what I’ve heard this team is full of class, so I don’t think that will be a problem.”

Cannon’s hiring was announced Sunday evening with the Cougars bringing one of its former coaches out of retirement.

The new head baseball coach brings 41-years of experience to the program including stops at Ernest Ward High School, Fort Walton Beach High School and Escambia County High School and Escambia Academy. He won a state championship with ECHS in 1989.

In speaking of his return to EA, Cannon said he’s excited about forming bonds with his players and helping them extend their knowledge of the game.

“Feels great,” he said. “As I told the kids, I’ve been retired going on two years and I really didn’t have much to do other than some honey-do things. I missed the relationships I have with the kids, and when I was called and offered this opportunity, my wife told me to take it. I’m really looking forward to working with these kids and teaching them the correct way to play baseball. Hopefully, we’ll win some games.”

During his meeting with his players, Cannon laid out his strategy for practice, so they would know what to expect when they take the field Thursday.

Giving them the run down allows him to move forward and not have to take step backwards, he said.

“Well, I think it’s important with anything you do that you have to set the groundwork and let each player know what is expected of them,” he said. “If they understand that then you can go forward with other things without having to stop practice.”

With practice beginning Thursday and the season a little more than a month away, Cannon is looking forward to being out on the diamond.

Coaching again with players to mold is one thing he is looking forward to, he said.

“I think the most exciting thing for me is just being able to get back out on the baseball field again with those young men,” he said.