"The players are working hard in the weight room," Eagle baseball coach Scott Norman said in early December. "They're trying to get a little more zip in their arms and bat speed."
Seymour, coming off an Inter-Mountain Athletic Conference championship in 2011, looks to build momentum for spring 2012 after losing five solid seniors.
"We hope to be competive, we have a pretty good mix of youth and experience," said Norman, heading into his 13th season as Seymour's coach after four years as an assistant to Greg Clark.
The Eagles already have some players who have committed to colleges to continue to play baseball, including middle infielder Ben Whisler (Belmont College) and leadoff hitter and centerfielder Logan Jenkins, who will play at Lincoln Memorial University. Norman said pitcher Tyler Crawford, who also catches and plays third base, has backed off his verbal agreement with LMU to weigh his options.
Norman, like his former South-Young High School schoolmate Mike Guinn, head coach at Pigeon Forge High School, has agreed to do a spring fund-raiser for Project 20/20 to raise money for Young-onset Parkinson's disease.
The Eagles will hold their event at home Thursday, April 5 against Herititage at 5 p.m., Norman said Wednesday, Dec. 14.
Pigeon Forge will host its fund-raiser Monday, April 2, while other teams involved include games at Farragut (April 26) and Anderson County (April 28).
See the http://www.pdproject2020.blogspot.com/ Web site for more information.
Norman, a sixth-round pick out of Walters State by the San Francisco Giants in 1982, has an overall record of 275-99 as the Seymour skipper. The Eagles have made four state tournament appearances during Norman's time at Seymour, including three as head coach. Three state tournament teams have made it to the final four.
The Eagles have won 10 of the past 12 regular-season conference championships, while taking down nine district tournament titles and capturing four region finals.
Norman, who pitched for four years with the San Francisco organization and two in the Cradinals farm system, topped out at the Class AAA Phoenix Giants.
He spent two years as Tennessee Tech's pitching coach before moving to the high school level with Seymour. Norman said Knoxville-area baseball has traditionally been strong over the years.
He's coached former Eagles such as Branden Ketron (Yankees minor-leaguer), Kyle Koeneman (LSU) and Wes Walter, a senior catcher at UT.
"There are some really good coaches in this area that work tremendously hard," Norman said. "I'm just honored to coach a sport I really love in a great baseball community such as Seymour."