Northside hungry for deeper run in '14 - WRBL

Northside hungry for deeper run in '14

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

The Northside Patriots are not dwelling on the disappointment of the 2013 season, but they're not ignoring it, either.

Northside came within a game of knocking off Whitewater in the opening round of the state tournament before ultimately falling in the series.

Whitewater advanced to the state semifinals.

"It does serve as a motivator," said head coach David Smart. "The kids are hungry to get back there and even further than that, so it's there in the back of their minds."

Smart says the team lost a lot to graduation last year, but does return several key players, including senior shortstop Michael Rossi, who notices one big difference this year.

"[This is] probably the hardest working group in my four years here," Rossi said. "Maybe not the most talented, but definitely the hardest working, which, to me, is very key."

The Patriots, like every other team in the area, have been hamstrung in preparations by the weather, but that's not stopping their hard work.

"We've been able to work hard several different ways," Rossi said. "We can hit and stuff like that, so even when the weather doesn't allow us to do everything we want to do, we still do our best to get what we can done."

Even still, Smart says he's been impressed with the team's work ethic, starting way back in the offseason.

"I've been really, really pleased with, when we have been able to get out there and get on the field, the way they've gotten after it," Smart said. "They were like that all offseason, the weight room in the mornings, just really consistent, bringing the same kind of energy level and same kind of effort every day, and they've continued that on to the practice field."

Northside is schedule to start the season Thursday at Warner Robins.

Jonathan Huskey

Jonathan comes to News 3 from Fort Smith/Fayetteville, Ark., where he anchored weekends and reported during the week on some of the best high school sports in the state. More>>

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