• Only five returning players on Chargers team

• Two of the five are seniors

• Coach said fundamentals will be key

WELDON — This year, Weldon High School will take to the diamond with a rookie team that has much less experience than in past years.

“This is a young team,” head coach Thomas McGeachy said “Only five returning players, for most the team it’s the first time they’ve ever played before.”

Of those five veterans, only De’angelo Northington and Kelonta Joyner are seniors, which means McGeachy and those seniors will have to work together to develop the inexperienced, rookie players.

“It’s going to be a learning experience,” the coach said. “We’re going to use our returning players, our veteran players, to kind of bring them along and help them cultivate a love for the game.”

McGeachy said he expects some strong competition in the conference, especially with teams like Granville Central and Louisburg who have seasoned programs. When the Chargers compete against those teams, the coach said, the learning curb will be steep.

To get them ready for those opponents, McGeachy said he’ll have to start by teaching his players the fundamentals. Everything from throwing, hitting and base running to the intangibles of the game.

“You teach them the little idiosyncrasies of the game,” McGeachy said. “So that when you’re warming up, for example, and you see the opposing pitcher warming up you know what things to look for.”

The Chargers had a scrimmage a few days ago and the coach said it was a great teaching moment for his players.

The returning players stepped up, McGeachy said, and encouraged the less experienced players. He also said he saw them stay motivated, which is critical for a young team.

“You make an error, you forget then you move on,” he said.

Northington, the team’s first baseman, said he’s seen some talent on this season’s team.

“So far we’re pretty decent, but we have a bunch of new talent,” Northington said. “Hopefully we pick up a win somewhere.”

As long as the team gets down the fundamentals, the coach said he believes they’ll do just fine.

“I’ll spend a lot more time on fundamentals than the coach of a veteran team, but that’s OK because I want them to love the game the way I do,” McGeachy said.

The Weldon Chargers play their first game on the road Tuesday against Rocky Mount Preparatory. Game time is 4 p.m.