BAKER — It has been almost nine years since Baker School’s baseball team won a district championship.
Steve Combest coached that Gator team and Adam Henry was his third baseman. The next time the Baker baseball teams hits the diamond, Henry will be in the third base coaching box.
Henry, a 2005 Baker graduate, was recently named the Gator baseball coach. He replaces Scott Johnson, who coached Baker last season.
"This is where I want to be, back home, helping guys go through what I went through," Henry said. "I'll just try to lead them the right way because this is a great thing to be back home."
Baker athletic director Matt Brunson was pleased to welcome one of Baker's own back.
"Adam has a history here, having played on coach Combest's 2005 district championship team, and he lives in our community," Brunson said. "He has been an assistant and a head coach over at Shoal River (Middle School).
"Being able to bring his experience and his ties to the community, I think, is a plus for our baseball program. He's going to be a very capable coach."
Brunson isn't concerned about Henry's youth; he pointed to his own rise through the coaching ranks.
"He's 27 and about to be 28," Brunson said. "I was the head football coach and athletic director at Vernon when I was 28. So I think it's the perfect age."
Much of Henry's coaching philosophy comes from his playing days under Combest.
"Coach Combest always said, 'Baseball is a game of inches and seconds, so if you do the little things right, it's going to lead to big things,'" Henry said. "Teaching kids the little things is what counts.
"If they don't do the little things right, it's going to lead to many issues on the baseball field. I think doing the little things right is a big deal."
Henry will draw from his Gator playing days to not only coach the team, but to teach the team the history of the program as well.
"I believe they need to know what a big deal this is," he said. "The last time Baker won the district was my senior year, and we beat Jay for the district title. That was a big deal.
"I think them knowing the history leads to success."
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at email@example.com, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.