WARE SHOALS- Two years ago, Brady Smith was entering his freshman year on the Ware Shoals varsity baseball team, merely attempting to find his place on a squad filled with upperclassman. Now a junior, Smith is one of the unquestioned leaders of the 2013 Hornets, helping lead his team to an impressive 4-1 start in Region I-1A play.
“Whenever I was a freshman, I had the older guys there to look up to,” Smith said. “They set a good example for me and showed good leadership. I just followed in their footsteps.”
Smith has been stellar in 2013 as a pitcher, posting a 3-1 record, with a superb 1.78 ERA. While he has served as the ace of the Hornets’ pitching staff, the junior right hander can play virtually any position on the field, something he takes great pride in.
“His (Smith) confidence in himself is his greatest strength,” Ware Shoals Head Coach Troy Cole said. “He has the confidence to play anywhere we put him, and no position for him is better than the other.”
That versatility, according to Smith, will help the Hornets star if he hopes to play at the next level.
“When I’m not pitching, I can play pretty much anywhere the coaches want me to,” Smith said. “It helps me a lot, if I want to go play travel ball, or at the next level. I can play in the outfield and anywhere in the infield. Being able to do that will help me get more playing time wherever I try and go play.”
As the Hornets enter the remainder of the season, Cole is hoping that the rest of his young squad will take Smith’s role, finding confidence in their abilities. The Hornets are currently in second place in Region I-1A, trailing Dixie, who is 4-0.
“Confidence as a team, proving that we can play with these other teams we play” Cole said. “We have the talent to play with anybody; they just haven’t had the confidence that they can. We are getting there, and have gotten a lot better. Our main thing this year is for our guys to learn to have confidence in themselves.”