Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Brent Haynes takes Williams High School baseball job

By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

Former Southern Alamance pitcher Brent Haynes is the new baseball coach at Williams High School.

Haynes filled that coaching vacancy after spending one season as a head coach at Eastern Randolph.

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“It kind of worked out well,” said Haynes, who lives in Graham. “I always wanted to get back in Alamance County. It’s going to be great for my family.”

Williams had an opening because Jamie Athas stepped down at the end of the season after five years in the position. The Bulldogs reached the state playoffs for the first time in 10 years during the past season, posting a 17-11 record and finishing second in the Central 3-A Conference. They were 40-46 in five years under Athas.

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Haynes guided Eastern Randolph to the Class 1-A West Region finals with a surprising postseason run as the No. 21 seed. The Wildcats ended up with an 8-19 overall record, competing in a split Class 1-A/2-A conference.

Haynes played on Southern’s 2005 state-championship team as a junior. He was a pitcher and third baseman.

He played collegiately for Young Harris and Mount Olive. Among his coaching stops, Haynes spent two stints as an assistant coach for Southern Alamance.

With Southern Alamance dropping to Class 3-A, the Patriots will be in the Central 3-A Conference so they’ll be conference rivals with Williams. Haynes said he’ll feel at home matching up with Alamance County teams.

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The calm before the controversy. Coaches Jason Smith of Southern Alamance and Brent Haynes of Eastern Randolph meet at home plate with the umpires prior to Wednesday night’s game. See earlier coverage of that game where Haynes was ejected after his assistant coach was ejected on a controversial call: https://alamancenews.com/southern-alum-returns-as-coach-with-visiting-team-ends-up-dismissed-as-patriots-rally-for-victory/

“I think that’s going to be a good fit for those guys,” said Orange coach Jason Knapp, who preceded Athas in the Williams job.

Haynes also coaches with the Burlington-based Dirtbags, a travel baseball program. He had a connection with Athas through that group.

Williams lost only two senior starters from its 2023 team.

“They got some good young talent coming back,” Haynes said. “(Pitcher) Tate Jones, who had one of the best seasons in the state of North Carolina and (catcher) Dan Mahan, who was one of the best players in the conference. There’s a core group of players who had the best season in the last 10 years at Williams.”

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