NC varsity baseball sends off seniors with win over Hillgrove Hawks


Lainey Devlin

The NC Warriors faced off against the Hillgrove Hawks for their senior night on Thursday, April 18. The Hawks, ranked #1 in the state, proved no competition for NC with the Warriors beating them 12-8. The highlight of the game, where senior Jonathan Young hit a grand slam and tied the game, displayed the Warriors’ skill and determination going into playoffs.

Lainey Devlin, Reporter, Photographer

The NC Varsity Warriors faced off against the Hillgrove Hawks in the last region games of the season the week of April 15. The game was the last home game of the season and was set apart to honor the seniors who have put years into the NC baseball program. The five seniors graduating celebrated their last game played on NC’s field and look forward to their futures.

Lainey Devlin
Senior Jonathan Young, a three-year varsity player, went through many ups and downs in his baseball career but overcame them all to receive a baseball scholarship to Chattahoochee Valley. “Like many others, I know he went through a period where he was tired of playing and frustrated. This season, he has had renewed energy and shown more concern for other people, which is necessary to be a leader,” Head Coach Tom Callahan said.

After three years of playing varsity baseball for the Warriors, senior Jonathan Young looks forward to continuing his baseball career at Chattahoochee Valley. Looked up to as a leader on the team, Young credits baseball with improving his character and growing him as a person throughout high school.

“Baseball definitely made me want to come to school every day so I would be eligible for practices and games. It made me a better person as well,” Young said.

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Senior Andrew Prather, a two-year varsity player, will move on to play baseball at Sewanee University. Although they will miss him dearly, the team and coaches wish him luck through this new chapter in his life. “Without Andrew, our team will be missing a major spark and we will miss his ability to bring the team together under a common goal,” junior Cole Wright said

Senior Andrew Prather also looks forward to continuing his baseball and academic career at Sewanee University. Prather consistently served as a core part of the team, and teammates will miss him for his playing skill and positive influence. With many of his best high school memories on the NC baseball field, senior night tied his high school baseball experience together as he moves on to a bigger and brighter future.

“Finally being a senior and playing on senior night felt surreal in the sense that it could possibly be the last time I play a home game at North Cobb. Baseball has influenced my high school career by making me stay focused on and off the field, academically and athletically. It gave me something to look forward to each day in the classroom and each year,” Prather said.

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After working hard for four years in the program, senior Garrett May will move on to a new chapter in his life in college. May worked hard every year he played, but will not continue baseball in college. “Garrett has become hardworking and gives it his all, he has made a family with the team,” junior Jake Mantooth said.

Senior Garrett May played varsity for NC for two years. Although May does not currently plan on continuing his baseball career, he fondly recalls the lasting impact it made on his high school experience.

“My favorite baseball memory was when I threw three straight shutout innings against Dunwoody. Baseball made me a better person,” May said.

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After serving the NC baseball program for four years, senior Thomas Chandler left a lasting impact on players and thanks them for the impact they made on him. “I think baseball has opened Thomas up as a guy and humbled him too because of how the game is played. He’s a great guy, and I’ve gotten really close with him through baseball the past years,” senior Matt Evans said.

Senior Thomas Chandler, despite not having definite plans to play baseball in the future, believes he will end up playing to pursue his passion. Chandler played varsity for two years but dedicated four years overall to the NC baseball program. Teammates view him as a supportive friend who pushes them to improve.

“Baseball helped me develop new friendships that I will remember forever and taught me how to be a leader, even when things aren’t going good,” Chandler said.

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Playing baseball since he was five, senior Matt Evans leaves a huge part of his life on the NC field as he moves on to a bright future. Teammates regard Evans as a caring friend who will be dearly missed. “He is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. Not only is he a great player on the field, but off the field, he is an even better friend and that’s why I think me and him are going to continue to be friends well after high school. He is one of my closest friends for sure,” Chandler said.

Last but not least, senior Matt Evans, with no plans to continue baseball in the future, also played varsity for two years but dedicated four years to the program. Playing since he was five, Evans believes baseball left a lasting impact on his life and he gained memories he will look back on forever. Baseball allowed Evans to come out of his shell and be a good teammate and better friend to the Warriors.

“Baseball gave me an opportunity to develop good friendships with the guys on the team and connect with other people,” Evans said.

Following the senior night festivities, junior Jake Mantooth, starting the game strong, scored a run off of Chandler’s hit. Gaining confidence from the early lead, the Warriors continued to play offensively for the entirety of the game.

The Warriors struggled at the top of the second inning with the Hillgrove Hawks scoring eight runs off of junior pitcher Nathan Williams. In the bottom of the inning, Magnet junior Josh Dixon brought hope to the crowd by scoring a run off of Magnet sophomore Harry Ford’s hit.

The highlight of the game came during the bottom of the third inning when Young hit a grand slam and brought three runners and himself to home. The hit brought the score to a tie at 8-8.

“My highlight [of senior night] was definitely hitting the grand slam, I feel like it really got our team back in the game,” Young said.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Chandler kept the momentum going by hitting a home run and bringing the score to 9-8.

The Warriors continued their incredible offensive play in the bottom of the fifth inning, and sophomore Trevor Lovett gained a run for the Warriors off of Ford’s hit. Later in the inning, Ford and Prather made runs off of Magnet junior Gavin Smith’s hit.

Demonstrating incredible defensive techniques, the NC Warriors protected their lead during the sixth inning. The Warriors did not gain any more runs in the bottom of the inning but kept their winning score. Lovett struck out the side of Hillgrove batters in the top of the seventh inning, securing a win for the Warriors.

Beating the top team in the state of Georgia left a lasting impression on many of the seniors, a memory they will carry on as they leave the NC baseball field and walk on to bigger things. The Warriors played in their first playoff games in a doubleheader against Newnan High School in an away game on Wednesday, April 24. The Warriors optimistically approach playoffs and cannot wait to see where the end of the season will take them.