Calhoun, Central announce head baseball coaches

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, January 3, 2024

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Lowndes County Public Schools has announced new head baseball coaches will assume leadership for the upcoming season. The Calhoun School welcomes Felix Allen and Central High School in Hayneville celebrates the return of former head baseball coach, Michael Perry, Jr.

Allen joined the Calhoun coaching staff as football defensive coordinator in 2023. He is stepping up to the plate now for his first experience as head baseball coach, bringing skills he gained as a little league coach in Montgomery.

“What inspired me to want to coach baseball is basically I wanted to get the fundamentals of the game out to the kids so they can understand the purpose of baseball,” Allen said. “Baseball is one of the highest paid sports in America. The sport is big in Alabama and I want to help them learn the fundamentals and give kids a chance to see that they can earn a baseball scholarship.”

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In addition to teaching student-athletes basic game concepts, Allen said he also looks forward to helping team members learn life lessons.

“I want to give them an option to better themselves,” Allen said. “We have to let them know they will go through ups and downs, but they don’t have to limit themselves. They can always utilize any skills or inner potential that they have to make a better life. They never have to settle for one thing. I want to give them something else they can look to in addition to football.

Perry coached the Calhoun Tigers as head of the football and baseball programs for two years, taking the year off in 2023. He returns as head baseball coach in January, to help regain the team’s momentum and return to the championship arena.

“Perry was formerly at Central as the baseball coach and the head football coach as well,” said Lowndes County Public Schools Athletic Director Nickles Rankins. “He took the team to the area championship for the first time.”

Perry said resuming duties as head baseball coach is a natural fit and something he looks forward to doing.

“I went to college to play football, but baseball was actually my first organized sport,” Perry said. “It’s kind of like my first love. I still remember how my mom used to travel to take me to play in the rec (recreational) league in Auburn. We didn’t have basketball or football, so baseball was my first love.”

The coach said he wants student-athletes to feel the thrill of the game and to know the excitement of training and realizing the results.

“When it comes to baseball, it’s all about the fundamentals,” Perry said. “Playing baseball is the excitement of all the training you have done and seeing it and recognizing how your body reacts the way you are supposed to in a baseball game. Being able to catch the ball, field the ball, hit the ball and make plays makes the game exciting.”

Perry noted he also enjoys working with the student-athletes and helping them learn team-building skills.

“Being around people and building team relationships is something I like to share [with student-athletes],” Perry said. “Some of these guys they are playing baseball with will be lifelong friends. Being able to teach life skills through baseball, teaching kids how to handle adversity and how to communicate with each other is important to me.”

Both teams will begin practice around Jan. 9, working on throwing, game knowledge and weight training.