Photo by Derrick Mahone
Jonesboro seniors Darian Alston (left) and Dustin Boggs will be counted on to provide leadership this season for a young Cardinals squad.
JONESBORO — With his team starting the season with an 0-3 record, Jonesboro coach Dan Maehlman is not quite ready to push the panic button.
Instead, the veteran coach has put the team’s slow start in perspective.
Region re-alignment has thrust the Cardinals into a competitive region. To add to the situation, Jonesboro graduated seven seniors from last season’s state playoff team.
“We started off the season against some really good programs,” Maehlman said. “In all, we have given up only one to two unearned runs. We just have to stay positive with this group.”
In the coming weeks, the coach is looking for his team to eliminate the mistakes that have likely resulted in the slow start.
“We are making too many errors against some good teams,” Maehlman said. “You don’t beat these caliber teams with a lot of errors.”
Maehlman expected the team’s pitching to be the anchor during the early part of the season.
And it hasn’t disappointed.
The pitching staff has given up only eight hits during the first three games, which included losses to Locust Grove (1-0), Spalding (7-4) and Stockbridge (8-4).
Jonesboro travels to North Clayton today in search of its first win of the season.
And the players search Maehlman’s sentiment that the season is still young.
“We still have enough time to turn this around,” senior pitcher/catcher Dustin Boggs said. “We just need to come together as a team, and play hard. I still think we have a good shot at making the playoffs.”
Just before the start of Thursday’s batting practice senior Darian Alston had a brief talk with the team about making a turnaround.
But Alston is realistic know that the team will have to overcome some inexperience in its quest for a playoff berth.
“You don’t want to start the season off 0-3, especially your senior year,” Alston said. “What done is done. We can only make it right from this point on. We got to win any way possible. We can’t look pass anyone.”
With a pitching staff of Brandon Jackson, Dereon London, Boggs and Alston, the team is confident that they have the arms to compete.
Maehlman’s biggest concern comes at the plate.
“We think the bats will come,” Maehlman said. “We have seniors that will have to take on a new role as leaders. Last season, they didn’t have to worry about that role.”