Predators praised by coach

  • Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Star file photo Roby Gillespie fields a ground ball and prepares to throw it to first against Barnwell.

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The Fox Creek baseball team had as many All-State members as losses this season.


The Predators 2014 South Carolina Baseball Coaches Association Class A All-State Team members were seniors Roby Gillespie, Darshon Broadwater and Deondre Baskett and sophomore Dalton Swires.


“I've talked about these guys all year,” said Fox Creek coach Wesley Brown. “They're exceptional players and represent what Fox Creek is about. They work hard and really led us on the field this year.”


Baskett, left-fielder for the Predators, was named to the team after missing his junior year with an injury.


“Deondre, he's just an athlete,” Brown said. “He's signed to play college football, he was all-state in football. He was on fire at the beginning of the season. He was the reason we won that (Midland Valley) tournament, because he was on fire and had some key hits for us.”


The all-state nod wasn't one of Baskett's goals going into the season.


“It's a big honor for me,” he said. “I blocked out my personal goals in favor of the team goals and we got pretty far. I wouldn't trade this experience for the world.”


Broadwater, a fellow outfielder, is another all-state football and baseball team member.


“Darson, a Spartanburg Methodist commitment was all state in football, as well,” Brown said. “He's a great athlete, and he is one of those guys who brings a bunch of different skills to baseball. The game has changed, and he's a great example of one of those types of players.”


With his scholarship to Spartanburg Methodist College, Broadwater will continue his baseball career and attempt to maintain his elite status.


“It means a lot; it means hard work pays off,” Broadwater said. “I'm not done yet, I'm planning on working just as hard in college. No days off.”


The final senior to make All-State, Gillespie, credits a rigorous offseason work for his second All-State appointment.


“It's a privilege, I'm very grateful for the talent the Lord above blessed me with,” Gillespie said. “I credit this to all of my coaches and all of the hard work that I put in has paid off.”


Brown called Gillespie one of the team's best leaders.


“Roby, he's moving on and playing at ABAC (Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College),” Brown said. “He was a four-year starter at shortstop and has done a marvelous job at leading the defense. He puts everybody where they need to be, position wise and mentally.”


The only underclassmen to make the team from Fox Creek was the ace of the pitching staff, Swires.


“Dalton, he's what, 5'7” and an 85-86 miles an hour,” Brown said. “He beat all of our big schools for us this year and was our go-to guy on the mound. He's a bulldog; if you had 10 of him on the team you'd be pretty good.”


The sophomore credited the team defense and his ability to throw strikes for his success this season.


“It means a lot to me, it's my first time making the team,” he said. “It was an awesome feeling to represent Fox Creek on the all state team.”


The Predators were one of 10 teams to have a player on the Class A team, which Brown said, “means we're doing something right.”


T.J. Lundeen is a reporter for The North Augusta Star. Follow him on Twitter @lundeentj for more updates.


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