White off to fast start with Pickens Academy baseball

April 9, 2009

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Once upon a time, Brach White didn''t like it when Central Academy lost a baseball game. 

 


It was a different story Tuesday. 

 


White didn''t mind when Central Academy lost to Pickens Academy (Ala.) 12-1. 

 


That''s because White is in his first season as the coach at Pickens Academy after being the coach at Central Academy for 13 years through the 2007 season. 

 


It was White''s first game against Central Academy in Macon since he became the coach at Pickens Academy in Carrollton, Ala. 

 


"It was a real different feeling being in the first base dugout," White said. "I''d been there a long time and it felt kind of weird. But it felt good to get back and see some people. I had a lot of those kids in junior high, and it was good to see them." 

 


White said he didn''t hear any jeering from Central Academy fans, but the score took care of that. Pickens Academy led 9-0 through two innings and it went on to an easy victory. 

 


White has returned to coaching this season after being out of coaching for a year. This is his second year at Pickens Academy, where he is the headmaster and baseball coach. 

 


"It was an opportunity I thought I needed to take when we moved over here," White said. "I came over here with the understanding I wasn''t going to coach. I just had some people approach me about coaching again and I decided to try it again. Coaching is in me, and it''s hard to get it out." 

 


White also was the headmaster and baseball coach at Central Academy from 1999-2007, so he knows how to give the proper amount of attention to both jobs. 

 


White has helped transform Pickens Academy, which is 15-1. The Pirates were 7-15 last season and won just three games in 2007. 

 


"The guys are real hungry to win," White said. "They were like that when I first started out with them. They''ve been willing to work hard. These kids, whatever I''ve asked them to do, they''ve done it. It doesn''t always mean you''re going to win, but they have really battled and have never quit. Our record could easily be 8-7 or something like that. We''ve been behind several games and come back in the end. They never quit and they never believe they can''t win. 

 


"They''ve really responded well. I''ve had a blast. It goes by fast, especially when you''re winning." 

 


Pickens Academy leads the Alabama Independent School Association Class 2A West, and plays a doubleheader today against Lowndes Academy, which only has lost two league games. 

 


The top pitchers for the Pirates are sophomore Chase Davidson (5-0) and junior Tyler Vails (4-0). 

 


The leading hitter is Cody McAteer, who was batting .565 through the first 10 games. White guesses McAteer is batting closer to .600 now. 

 


McAteer, Holden Miles, and Jeremy Pate lead the Pirates with two home runs each.