By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Millington Baseball began a new era this week under Head Coach Colter Millican.
The Brighton High School and University of West Alabama alum is the man in charge of a varsity program for the first time in his coaching career. After a year with the Trojans under the leadership of Zane Adams, Millican inherits the Millington Baseball program.
“I’m enjoying it,” Millican said during preseason. “I guess it’s easy transitioning because I’ve known Zane for so long and what he has done here. He’s done a great job as far as the field, team, building and setting a standard for a program. I kind of knew what to expect coming in being his assistant last year. It’s made it an easy transition.”
Millican is no stranger to making a transition in the game of baseball.
He went from a Brighton Cardinal standout pitcher under then Head Coach Brian Oswalt, to an important lefty on the pitching staff of UWA.
“Same way as my high school coach did by doing everything he learned,” Millican said, “I’ll bring that to the job. I will implement the same things Zane did. We played together at college.
“The things they don’t know we’ve have to take baby steps with,” he added. “There were things I didn’t know from high school I had to learn in college. We’re going to try to throw those things on them but not too quickly.”
Millican’s expertise in the game is pitching. At Brighton Millican was named to the All-District team three times. His work on the mound helped Brighton win back-to-back district titles.
Millican said he is well-rounded at the game and will lean on his assistants to help drill all the fundamentals, schemes and mental lessons to the players.
“I’ve got a good staff that knows the game very well,” he noted. “We really need to work on the fundamental plays that happen often in a baseball game – catching the ball, throwing the ball to first base to get the easy out. We can’t make the game too complicated.
“We have to throw the ball across the plate,” Millican continued. “And then we have to cut down on (our) strikeouts. It’s the little things like that. The simple parts of the game, I’ve got a great staff to help me out with all of that.”
An extension of the Trojan coaching staff will be the quartet of seniors Weston Hood, Will Jackson, Tommy Clifton and Drake Shepard.
“Older guys taking charge, that’s the most important thing we can have,” Millican said. “I need them to instill in these younger guys what we’re preaching to them as coaches. And show that the successes that they’ve had under Zane from year one to now, and keep building on that.”
Millican said his seven juniors will bring a lot to the program as well this season. The 11th graders are Jack O’Connor, Jayce Fiene, Johua Coates, Julio Hernandez, Trevor Meadows, Tyler Jordan and Wesley Culley.
Teams like Bolivar Central, Ripley, Haywood, Bolton and Fayette-Ware will all join Millington in trying to dethrone the Covington Chargers. But the defending Class 2A State champions are the favorites in District 15-2A.
“I believe we really can and it’s going to take competing, learning how to win,” Millican said. “Kids here haven’t had a whole lot of success. But the ones here have had more success than the previous because of the work of Coach Adams.
“They won a few games,” he concluded. “We made a little run during the district tournament last year. It’s going to take us building on that. We’ve got to learn how to win. A lot of the kids are still learning how to win. I do believe we can.”