Conversation with Ada coach Shane Coker

Mar. 12—The Ada High baseball team is already off and running — the Cougars are hanging out on a beach somewhere near Gulf Shores, Alabama as this story goes to press — but I recently had a chance to sit down with head coach Shane Coker to talk about the 2024 spring season.

Following are excerpts from that conversation.


The Ada News: Coach, how did the preseason go for the Ada High baseball team?

Shane Coker: "It was a blessing that we had three weeks of 60 and 70-degree weather. and we had enough kids out where we could intrasquad every day. We haven't swung it very well. We're a little behind in that category. We're trying to play catchup now."

The Ada News: The Cougars are coming off a 19-win season from a year ago but made an early playoff exit after a pair of tough district losses to Bridge Creek. What is the outlook for the Cougars this spring?

Shane Coker: "We are better every year. We're still on the young side with only four seniors. Our seniors are going to produce for us where they can and when they can. But we think we have a good group of young guys to go with them. The more these guys go play the better off they'll be."

The Ada News: You have four seniors to help lead the way for your team this year Hunter McDonald, Reid Samson, Jake Fisher and Connor Harrison. Talk about what those four guys bring to the table this spring.

Shane Coker: "They're all guys that have been with us for four years and have been an integral part of what we're doing. Reid's probably going to assume the role of the No. 1 guy on the mound for us. Jake Fisher has been pretty limited due to injuries the last year or two, but he threw pretty well in the preseason. Hunter Mac is a great two-hole guy and has played second base for us the past two years. He's going to be able to move runners, hit-and-run — the little things that he should. Conner Harrison is a guy that helps take care of everybody and is a great teammate. He's just a great kid to be around."

The Ada News: Ada will compete in a tough District 4A-1 group that includes Blanchard, Douglass, McLoud, Seminole, Harrah, Bethany and local rival Byng. Talk about how you think the district might shake out.

Shane Coker: "Blanchard's going to be there in the end like they are every year. Harrah and Bethany seem to put a good teams together every two or three years. and then us, McLoud and Byng all have the ability to play well and make a run for it at the end."

The Ada News: What are some of the keys to the Cougars having the type of season you want them to have?

Shane Coker: "We have to limit our free passes and we have to play some small ball. In the five years I've been here, I bet we don't have a dozen home runs. That being said, we have to be able to put the ball in play and get guys on base. With the competition we're going to play, a lot of times walks equal runs. Our pitching staff is going to have to throw strikes. We tell our guys every day that you just have to give yourself a chance. If they do that, I think we'll see the rewards."

When the Cougars return from their trip to Alabama, they'll travel to McLoud on March 18 and host McLoud on March 19. Ada then travels to Cushing on March 22 to end the week.