2023 Bengals take the field


Sarah Munzenmaier

Graphic design made by Aynsleigh Penland using Canva’s presentation software

The 2023 Fuquay Varina High School baseball team looks to have another great year.  Last year,  the team finished 22-9 with a 10-4 record in conference play. They were ranked sixth in the division and 27th in the state. They lost in the semi-final round of the playoffs to Pinecrest in a thrilling series that went the distance to three games. 

This year the team looks to not just rebound but to win and get back to the state championship. Senior Brady Nathinson has high expectations for the team this year.

“We’re trying to get back to the conference championship, win the conference, and see how far we can go in the playoffs. We have high hopes for this year,” said Nathison

Nathinson then went on about the feelings of this season as opposed to years past.

“This year the team has a lot of players who have been playing with each other for practically all of the high school and these are our guys. So we’re really excited for the season ahead,” said Nathison.

Aside from the veteran outfielder Nathison, on the mound as the ace for the team, this year is the veteran left-handed pitcher H.L. Smith.

Smith, just like Nathison, has been on this team all four years and has always been a ball player who shows his leadership with the way he plays the game.

“I love being a person people on and off the team can look up to. I try to be that person so that the people who watch me can do the same thing for others,” said Smith

Not only is the team led by these two amazing players, but they’re also led by some of the best coaches around Andrew McClannon and Ken Daniels.

Coach McClannon is in his second year of being the head coach here at Fuquay Varina High School. He said that he looks for buy-in in his teams. 

“Players are buying into the system that we’re punching now. Once you get the players to buy in, special things will happen,” said McClannon. 

McClannon, known for his brilliance as a coach, saw some great improvements from the team as a whole since last season. 

“Coach Daniels did a lot of fall workouts with them. We have a system set up for heavier weights and we gained a lot of bat speed through those workouts. We’re hoping we’ll see that in games. With the higher bat speed, we hope that’ll bring the exit velocity up for the team as well,” said McClannon.

With a loaded roster full of talent up and down the bench, Fuquay looks to have a brilliant season displaying who they are and what they want to do.