Tifton Gazette

Local Sports

January 24, 2013

New head coach Kilgore expects to win

TIFTON — The first year head coach of the ABAC Stallions, Jeff Kilgore, did not waste many words when asked about his season expectations.

“I expect a lot of wins,” he said.

The first pitch of this season will be this afternoon at 1 p.m. St. Johns River State College is in town. The Stallions will return the favor Saturday as the visiting team. The next home game will be Feb. 3 against Tallahassee Community College.

“We’ve put in a lot of work,” said Kilgore. “Hopefully that shows on the field.”

Seven players on the roster of 24 are returnees. A quarter of the Stallions are transfers. These include pitchers Matt Moses, Kevin Werner and Justin Hicks. Moses came from Chipola Community College, Werner from Mercer University. Hicks previously played at Tallahassee Community College. “We expect him to be good,” said Kilgore.

Kilgore had high praise for all of his players, but added extra for third baseman Christian Miller. “He might be our best player,” he said.

Only one on the roster is from the Tiftarea — Cole Janousek, son of former baseball coach and current faculty member Steve Janousek. Kilgore said the shortstop and third baseman will see “significant playing time.”

He is hoping to start the year 4-0. “Hopefully we’ll get a couple of lucky bounces,” he said.

Though the coach has been here three years, this is his first in total charge of the team. “Just a bit more pressure,” he conceded. He admits that the weather is still a big difference for him. Not just the snow that occasionally visited north Georgia, but the ice conditions that come with it.

North Georgia is Kilgore’s stomping grounds. He is originally from Gainesville. He played in high school at Johnson High in south Hall County. He next went to Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs as a player, then as a coach, then went back to Hall County to be part of the West Hall High coaching staff. He has had head coaching experience, leading the Athens Pirates of the Great South League.

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