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First Pitch banquet attendees hear from Ty Megahee

Jan. 26—THOMASVILLE — With the baseball season just around the corner, the Thomas County Central baseball team hosted their First Pitch banquet. Teammates, coaches, family members and fans gathered in the TCCHS cafeteria for some fine dining and to listen to some impactful words from an old friend.

}The evening began as attendees gathered to eat. Yellow Jacket head baseball coach Ryan Strickland then took to the microphone to welcome special guests and introduce his coaching staff. He began by thanking everyone for coming and then introduced the team.

Thomas County Central has a very large group of middle schoolers participating in baseball this year. They have enough sixth graders to form two B-teams and in all it took Strickland nearly ten minutes to get through the entire middle school and high school roster.

Before introducing the seniors, Strickland was sure to let the parents know how great their sons were.

"This senior class is just amazing," Strickland said. "What they do everyday, how they come out, how they go about their business, they take care of their work in the classroom. I don't have to worry about them. That's greatly appreciated and I'm excited about what they're going to do this year with that kind of character and work ethic that they have."

Strickland then introduced an old friend and college teammate as the guest speaker, Ty Megahee.

Megahee is currently an assistant coach and the recruiting coordinator for Florida State baseball. He played with Strickland in community college before he moved to Mercer. Megahee has spent 18 years in division one baseball with stops at Pitt, Western Kentucky, Mercer, Auburn and Monmouth. He has coached 65 players who went on to be MLB draft picks and has had six top 25 recruiting classes as a recruiting coordinator.

Megahee addressed the room, but focused mainly on the high schoolers. His message began with hope. He told a story about himself in tenth grade facing a future college pitcher and being scared and overwhelmed by the speed of the pitches. A few months later, with some experience and practice, he faced that pitcher again and wasn't just able to handle the pressure, but was able to hit, communicating to the players that the game may speed up, but it doesn't have to pass them by.

Magahee then went on to encourage the players to embrace the moment. Some of them may go on to play in the MLB, for some high school may be it for their baseball career. So, it's important to enjoy this time and to be in the moment because they are making memories that will last a lifetime.

}All-in-all the banquet was a success. Players left encouraged and fans left excited for the season to come. The Yellow Jackets will get their first taste of baseball action on February 3 with a scrimmage against Thomasville. The season will begin with an away game against Colquitt County on February 12.