Cathedral, Natchez ready for playoffs
NATCHEZ — Natchez High School head baseball coach Brian Kossum has more than one thing to think about this week, but he insists it’s not getting in the way of playoff preparation.
Kossum was hired on an interim basis before taking over the team in January. His position was listed as a vacancy in a recent Natchez-Adams School District meeting, and Kossum is expected to interview for the full-time position sometime this week.
The Bulldogs will travel to Petal High School Friday for their first game of a three-game series in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A playoffs. Though the interview is forthcoming, Kossum said he’s not worried about it.
“I don’t think about it at all, that’s just part of (coaching),” Kossum said. “I came into this job expecting to be the coach for a long time, and the rest of it will take care of itself. We’re worried about going down to Petal and winning a playoff series.”
Practice has been good for his team so far this week, Kossum said, despite having four seniors out because of a senior trip to Orlando, Fla.
“We’re almost starting over in a way, because a lot of guys who haven’t been the focal point are now the focal point,” Kossum said. “So far, we’ve been liking what we’ve been seeing.”
Game 1 is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday in Petal. Game 2 is set for 2 p.m. Saturday in Natchez.
Cathedral High School baseball coach Craig Beesley said he was happy to get several pitchers on the mound during an intersquad game Monday.
“We hit the ball well and played better defense, but we still have some improving to do with pitching and defense,” Beesley said.
Cathedral will host Resurrection Catholic School at 5 p.m. today for a first-round Class 1A playoff game. Beesley said he’s looking for his team to have a little more focus than it did the final games of the regular season.
“I was a little worried about it (Tuesday), but I think we had a good talk after practice (Wednesday), so I think we’re going to be good,” Beesley said.
The Lady Green Wave will open second-round play at 5:30 p.m. Friday at home against Stringer High School, and head coach Gary Blackwell said he expects his team to be in for a hard-fought series.
“They’re a good ball team,” Blackwell said. “They were first in their division, and they’ll be a pretty good matchup for us. It will be a battle, and we’re going to have to be on our toes and play like we need to play.”
Blackwell said he’s been pleased with practice this week despite limited opportunities because of wet weather Wednesday and a lack of players Tuesday.
“Monday we had a really good practice, and all of our seniors were gone Tuesday, so we didn’t have practice,” Blackwell said. “I let them have a break, because they’ve been working hard and doing what they need to do.”