Jon Hudson working with his new players this summer at Bay

Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 9:41 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -This is an important summer for Jon Hudson and his new baseball program at Bay. The Tornadoes now under the guidance of coach Hudson, who moved south from Mosley a couple of months ago. Jon replacing Andrew Starr who stepped down from the job at the end of this past season. Instilling a summer program one of the first tasks for coach Hudson, as he works to familiarize himself with the surroundings, and the players in the program. “Everything has gone well.” coach Hudson told me as I visited one his workouts this month. “People are excited to get started up with the new administration here for us, as far as the coaching staff. It’s pretty much put in place now. And we’ve had a chance now to take a look at them a little bit and see where they’re at developmentally. It’s been good, it’s been a good start.”

Bay just 7-38 the last two seasons, and it’s a team that lost a lot of players from last year. So this is pretty much a rebuild for coach Hudson and his staff.

“They lost eight seniors off the team last year.” says Hudson “We only have 11 or 12 returning players right now. Of the 11 or 12, they’re all out here doing what they can do. You know we’re in the weight room getting some stuff done. We are doing some small group stuff things now after we work out on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They’ve been great. The effort has been there. They’re coming, it’s been kind of new to have summer workouts consistently. But they’re excited about it and I couldn’t be happier with them.”

As for his pedigree after such successful stints at Rutherford and Mosley, Hudson won a state title with the latter just two seasons ago, well he says he’s not worried if his new players are aware of any of that.

“You know I just think they’re excited that I’m here.” says coach Hudson “They know that we’re invested in them as young men. And trying to develop them as baseball players. There’s not a whole lot of ‘state champion coach’ coming in, there’s really not. I don’t come across that way. I’m just here to work and excited to get these guys out here and see what we can do with them. And I know that they’re really making some changes in their habits as well. So it’s been fun with these guys and it’s been a great experience so far.”

The coach stressing to us, and his players, what a big deal putting the work during the summer is!

“You know in July, August and September, these are really critical times for these guys to get, number one just get the reps that they need. Most of these kids didn’t even play high school baseball last year because the JV didn’t play a lot of games. And they lost eight seniors, so they have a lot of guys that really haven’t played a whole lot of high school baseball at all. Even at the JV level. So they understand they need to get to work. And like I said I’m really happy with the way things have gone so far. They’re excited to get out here and get better and they’re really wanting more. So that’s good.”

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