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Last year in his first season as baseball coach at Owen County, Kevin Webster was not afraid to play anyone. The Rebels opened up the season by playing Harrison County who eventually won the 10th Region Championship. The Rebels also played the 8th Region Champion, Anderson County, as well as Scott County and DuPont Manual. This list also included a team from the 31st District in Henry County that made it to the 8th-region championship game.
Despite winning only nine games last year, the Rebels will again face a tough schedule as they head into the upcoming season.
Rebel fans have to look no farther than game one to see the evidence.
Owen County opens up the baseball season Monday by welcoming Harrison County to Dunavent Field. The Thorobreds are ranked eighth in the state in the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association preseason poll.
The 2009 schedule once again includes Anderson County and Scott County. The Rebels will also play Danville, Ballard and Woodford County. Ballard is ranked 16th in the KHSBCA preseason poll.
Webster said the schedule was difficult. “Our schedule is tough, just like last year,” Webster said. “I hope we can win the games we are supposed to win and pull off some wins against the big boys and get a little confidence.”
Leading the way for Webster will be a solid senior class. Jordan Cox, Matt Harris, Zach McDonald, Royce Neeley, Collin Gamble and Denny O’Toole will all be looked to for leadership.
“I think we will have excellent leadership from our upperclassmen, something which helps us as coaches tremendously,” Webster said.
The Rebels also hope to get contributions from juniors Brody Layton and Brandon Stephens, as well as from younger players like Stone Osborne, Zach Ripy and Jarrod Ball.
In addition to the tough schedule outside the 8th region, Owen County will be back in the All “A” Classic. The tournament will be held at Henry County April 9 and 11. The Rebels play Henry County in the first round at 6 p.m.
The schedule also includes games against opponents from the 31st District.
Owen County will host both Gallatin County and Henry County before wrapping up district play at Carroll County.
The Rebels also play in the Woodford County Invitational and the NCKC Tournament.
A little rain did not stop the Rebels from playing a scrimmage game Saturday in Owenton against Conner. The game gave the coaching staff a chance to see how prepared the team is for the opener on Monday.
Joining Webster on the coaching staff will be Greg Wilhoite, who will also coach the junior varsity team. Other assistant coaches include Tony Webster, Dan Logan, Dave Downey and Shannon Cook. Cook and Downey will also coach the middle school and freshmen teams.
Before Harrison County comes to town Monday, the Rebels play a final scrimmage game against Shelby County tonight.