Clayton County Baseball Coach of the Year: Richard Flowers, North Clayton

North Clayton’s Richard Flowers has been named Clayton County Baseball Coach of the Year by the Clayton News. (Special Photo: Jerry Jackson)

COLLEGE PARK — North Clayton hadn’t advanced to the state baseball playoffs in 23 years entering the 2016 season. The Eagles, who were coming off a 6-10 season, knew qualifying for the postseason in a region loaded with talent — Westminster and Blessed Trinity played for the Class AAA state title — would be a tall task.

But under the guidance of head coach Richard Flowers, North Clayton made history this season. The Eagles finished 13-9 and clinched the fourth seed out of Region 4-AAA with a 5-4 win over Cedar Grove on the season’s final day.

Flowers has seen the baseball program grow significantly in his tenure as head coach. The Eagles won two games in 2014 and six in 2015 before reaching double digits in 2016.

“I enjoyed this season because we were more than a team, we were family,” said Flowers. “After last season this team realized that they could compete, so coming into this season they all set a goal to make a run for the playoffs. From the first day of practice they were all dedicated to making that happen. They all were enthused about playing the sport of baseball which isn’t particularly popular at our school. All these kids were competitors and athletes and I’m just happy we all shared this season as something that will be in North Clayton history forever.”

The Clayton News is pleased to name Richard Flowers as Clayton County Baseball Coach of the Year.

Others Considered: Cornelius Polk, Drew; Aubrey Patterson, Jonesboro; Rod Dunlap, Morrow

Luke Strickland is the sports editor of the Clayton News in Jonesboro and the Henry Herald in McDonough. He went to school at the University of Georgia.

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