ALBANY, GA (WALB) - After a state title last season, the Deerfield-Windsor baseball team has simply reloaded.
The Knights return most of the core that helped them bring home that championship last season. Now they're aiming for another one.
DWS only lost five seniors from last year's team and returns a huge bevy of talent, including Auburn commit Steven Williams behind the plate.
The Knights will open their season Tuesday at North Florida Christian.
That's just the first of an upgraded schedule Deerfield will take on this year.
"We've beefed up our schedule this year to make it more challenging in our non-region play," head coach Jonathan Davis says. "We're going to stretch our guys. We're going to play a lot of guys, and throw a lot of pitchers. That's going to be our M.O. this year."
"It's going to be really good for us. Last year, I'm not going to say it was an easy schedule, but it wasn't the hardest," says Williams. "This year, we have a bunch of away games against a bunch of quality opponents. The first game against North Florida will be a really big challenge for us."
Davis says the tougher schedule is all by design. The Knights will play road games in Florida, Alabama, and South Carolina this season. They're also taking a volunteering trip to the Dominican Republic later this spring. Davis wants his team battle-tested by the time the state playoffs begin, and he believes all those logged miles will help.
"We just have to avoid any type of complacency. We're trying to spice it up every other day. We did a lot of great work in the weight room this offseason," he says. "We want to grow closer together as a team, and really get that team bond and team chemistry together. That's really what we're focused on, especially early in the season."
The Knights open the season with a pair of road games. The home opener is Friday night when they host Brookwood.