As back to back state champs, the obvious goal for the Athens Blue Jays should be winning a third straight title, but for this team, cementing the legacy of their Hall of Fame Coach may be more important.
After years of coaching baseball, the Blue Jay’s Head Coach Bill Coker has decided that this will be his final season.
In February Coker was inducted in the WBCA Hall of Fame and has an extensive resume to back up his enshrinement.
Arguably though, the last two years have been Coker’s most successful at the helm of any team, but he refuses to take any of the credit for the program’s success.
“You give the kids a lot of credit,” said Coker. “They work really hard, they do what’s right and you have to get a little lucky along the way.”
However it would seem that luck plays a very minuscule role in the success of Coker’s teams. It seems more appropriate to attribute the programs winning way’s to coaching, from both staff and players.
“We’ve got a nice group of seniors this year,” said Coker. “We’ve got four seniors this year and what we’re asking of them is to really take a look at things and help out with the younger guys.”
Among those seniors is Coker’s youngest son Seth, the reigning WBCA Division four player of the year.
Coker knows that while he and a few seniors will lead the team, they will need the younger guys to step up if they want to win.
“We started ranked two this year,” said Coker. “But a lot of teams know we’re young and we’ve got a long way to go before we can be a state championship team.”
But, based on the limited action the team has seen so far this season, he believes that they have what it takes to win another state title and send his father out on top.
“I think that if the stars align for the third year in a row, there is the talent here to win a third state championship.”