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Baker back at Henry

By Anthony Rhoads

After one season as head baseball coach at Eagle's Landing High School, Troy Baker is returning to Henry County High School.

Baker, a long-time assistant at Henry County, left the Warhawks last year to take the head coaching job at Eagle's Landing.

Baker had been an assistant at Henry County since 1992.

"I'm looking forward to it," Baker said. "It won't be too strange because I've coached 90 percent of these kids. I've coached all of them except for the incoming freshmen and I coached those kids in middle school."

Eagle's Landing went 16-10 overall in 2004. The Golden Eagles finished fifth in Region 2-AAAAA and barely missed the playoffs with an 11-7 league record.

"16-10's not bad but we really wanted to make the playoffs," Baker said. "Whoever replaces me at Eagle's Landing will be getting a great group of kids over there."

Baker added that Eagle's Landing principal Ethan Hildreth and athletic director Bob Stinchcomb have been very supportive about his decision to go back to Henry County.

Last week, Chuck Campbell resigned as head coach at Henry County to put Baker in position to return to Henry County.

"I'm excited about it because Troy was an assistant on one of the first teams I had at Henry County," Campbell said. "The timing was just about perfect. He's Henry County in his heart."

Campbell said the program shouldn't miss a beat with Baker as head coach.

"I think it will be great for him and the kids in the program," Campbell said.

Most of the assistants and lay coaches will stay on at Henry County which should make the transition smoother.

"The lay coaches are very important," Baker said. "Dow Culberson does an excellent job with the pitchers and Jerry Smith does a great job. I called Dow and Jerry today and they're excited."

Baker attended Meadow Creek Christian Academy, which is now Ealge's Landing Christian Academy. He went on to play baseball at Truett-McConnell and then finished his education at Brewton Parker. This year has seen many shake-ups in baseball coaching staffs in Henry County.

The first change was when long-time Eagle's Landing head coach Blake Lyons resigned from both baseball and softball. Lyons had been at Eagle's Landing since the school opened in the early 1990s.

Several weeks ago, Stockbridge let go of Bill Pate, who had been both baseball and girls basketball head coach.