By TONY STINNETT, Courier Sports Editor
Former Cannon County baseball player Justin Fann will lead the Lions program in 2014.
Fann, who graduated in 2009 and was a member of the Cumberland University baseball program, served as an assistant coach for the Lions in 2013.
“If you are coaching you always think about going back and coaching at your old high school,” Fann said. “I’m excited about that and the opportunity.”
Fann says the transition should be a smooth one for the players as they open the season at home against Cascade Tuesday (March 11).
Not only was Fann an assistant coach in 2013, but he also coached many of the current Lions during their youth baseball days.
“I know most of the players and they know me so it’s not like they have to learn a new coach, or I have to learn about them as players and what their skill sets are,” Fann said. “We already have a pretty good understanding of one another so that should help in the transition.”
Fann inherits a team that is young but experienced if there is such a thing.
The 2014 Lions roster returns two first-team All-District 8-AA players in Nick Vassar and Trent Bragg.
Although there are no senior starters, it is still a lineup that includes players who have seen quality at-bats during competitive summer games.
“We have a good nucleus of young players and they have seen a lot of playing time already with summer ball and individual work in the offseason,” Fann said.
Cannon County’s pitching depth will be tested with several games in the early season. The Lions have five games in the first week.