By Mark W. Miller
Killeen Daily Herald
HARKER HEIGHTS The old guy looks familiar, but not so much the youngsters around him.
Former Ellison coach Glenn Cunningham has returned to Killeen ISD and takes over a sophomore-laden Knights baseball program.
The Knights were set to open the regular season Tuesday night at Ellison. Heights could have as many as five sophomores in the starting lineup.
"I learn a little more about 'em each day, being the new guy," said Cunningham, who also coaches the freshman football team. "It looks like we're going to be fairly young, but they're enthusiastic and we're getting better each day out, so I feel like we're going to be competitive."
The sophomores who could see extensive action this season are pitcher/outfielder David Kipp, first baseman Cody Dunn, second baseman Daniel Driver, shortstop Ryan Balentine and utility player Ethan Vernon.
The graybeard on the squad is pitcher/outfielder Cameron Kish, who earned second team all-district honors last season.
"We're going to rely on his leadership," Cunningham said.
Kish, Kipp, Nick Shumard and Todd Abold will shoulder the pitching load. Pitching and defense may be the Knights' strength this season.
"We've played pretty well defensively at this point," said Cunningham. "I feel like we've got four good pitchers that, if they throw strikes and they're around the plate, we've got a chance to field the ball and be in the ballgame."
Kipp, Kish, Trevor Butler, Alexis Colon and surging DeJuan Fulghum make up the outfield rotation.
"We expect him to make a big contribution to the team," Cunningham said of Fulghum. "He's got some power and really can swing the bat."
The Knights split their scrimmages, falling to Pflugerville Hendrickson 7-5 and defeating Killeen.
Heights begins play in the Marble Fall tournament on Thursday. Trevor Butler, Alexis Colon.
Boys soccer ends tough week
In the midst of a grueling stretch of schedule, the Knights soccer team was outscored 7-1 last week, losing to 13-5A heavyweights Temple (4-0) and Bryan (3-1).
Charlie North scored the Knights' only goal, assisted by B.J. Hammonds.
"In the Temple game, we started out fairly well," coach Jeremy Key said. "We went down on a silly goal early on, a pair of them actually, and then we started to become a little more dangerous. We were starting to produce some opportunities and we had one or two chances to score.
And in the second half we fell apart."
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Matt Addison, boys basketball, senior guard
Addison had 19 points and seven steals as the 20th-ranked Knights won the District 13-5A title outright in a 63-46 blowout of second-place Bryan on Feb. 14.