Teams looking to make second-half turnarounds

Photo by Brian Paglia / After dropping six in a row, Terry Owens and Mundy’s Mill are on a four game winning streak.

Photo by Brian Paglia / After dropping six in a row, Terry Owens and Mundy’s Mill are on a four game winning streak.

With a veteran team returning this season, Riverdale coach William Silveri had some high expectations for his team.

Although the team is sporting a 3-13 overall record, Silveri doesn’t feel all is lost with the season.

“We have been a bit up and down this season,” Silveri said. “We have played well at times, but we have hurt ourselves with unforced errors.”

But at times, the Raiders have shown potential that had the coach excited about his fourth season as coach. Two of the highlights for the season came when Riverdale defeated region contenders Locust Grove (7-5) and Jonesboro (6-2) in back-to-back games last month.

“I’ve told the guys that if Riverdale takes care of business, we could compete in this tough region,” Silveri said.

Senior Tikeem Cooper has been a major contributor to the Raiders with his .548 batting average including 15 RBIs and 24 stolen bases. The coach is also high on freshman Jalen Isom, a catcher.

“He has the potential to do some good things in the next couple of seasons,” Silveri said.

Mundy’s Mill: The Tigers sit at 9-8 overall and 7-6 in Region 4-AAAAA, but coach Patrick Smith said the team is a lot better than the record shows.

“We have been in a lot of those games that we have lost,” he said. “The score is a little deceiving.”

Smith said errors have been a big problem in some of the games.

“We are making crucial mistakes at the wrong time,” Smith said. “In this region, you can make mistakes against some of these veteran teams. Overall, I think this team has competed well.”

Jordan Robinson has emerged as the team’s top pitcher. Smith says his record is not an indicator of how well he has pitched, because he usually draws the assignment against the top teams in the region.

“He pitches the tough games,” Smith said. “He has kept us in a lot of games.”

Smith said that pitcher Darius Wheeler is expected back after spring break from a tail bone injury sustained in a pickup basketball game.

Mount Zion: With the team marred in the midst of a four-game losing streak, coach Kelcey White called a team meeting to get the team refocused.

After the meeting, the Bulldogs went on a three-game winning streak.

“We have been playing a lot better now,” White said.

White credits Sam Glickman, Chris Patterson, Aaron Harris, Kenneth Wiggins and Reginald Vaugh with helping turn things around.

The coach is confident the team can make a run at a playoff spot, but said the team has a chance for its third straight winning season.

Last season, Mount Zion made the state playoffs for the first time in school history.

Wiggins is hitting .421 and is considered the team’s top pitcher. Glickman is batting .415 while Harris has a .407 batting average.

Vaugh is batting .392 with 16 stolen bases.

“Since our meeting, the team is really responding,” said White, whose team has a 9-11 overall record and 5-8 mark in the region. “We want to make the playoffs, but a winning season in this region would be good backup goal.”

The Bulldogs have seven games remaining on its schedule.

“We are looking at it as one-game playoffs,” White said. “We are treating every game as if it was a playoff game.”