Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
PIKETON — Jonathan Teeters has always wanted to be a varsity baseball coach. This spring, his wish will come true.
Teeters, who was previously an assistant coach at Waverly, will patrol Piketon’s dugout — replacing veteran coach Gene Bumgardner — in his first head coaching gig.
Teeters, who also played at Waverly, had the opportunity to watch Tigers coach Jeff Noble conduct business. Noble is a Southeast District Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame inductee who has 350-plus wins under his belt.
As he should, Teeters will bring lessons learned from Noble into his newly acquired program.
“It’s always been a goal of mine to be a high school baseball coach,” Teeters said. “I played for one of the best, if not the best, baseball coaches in southern Ohio in [Waverly’s] Jeff Noble. He’s been a mentor for me and has taught me how to do things the right way. You learn a lot from guys like him, who’s been around the game for 30-plus years. He’s been influential to me.”
Last season, the Redstreaks finished just 7-17 overall before falling in a Division III sectional semifinal by a 7-3 final to North Adams. But with Teeters around, senior Shane Vulgamore says there’s a different energy present.
“I feel like we’ve gotten better overall. Teeters has been different, in a good way,” Vulgamore said. “We’re really excited for baseball. He brings energy. I’ve had him as a coach in the past, so I kind of knew what to expect coming in. When we’re on the field, it’s work, work, work.”
Over the past few summers, Teeters has served as the head coach of Waverly Post 142’s legion baseball program. There, he found success — the Shockers finished 20-10 overall last season and won the South Central Ohio League title.
He’s hoping for the same kind of success in the Scioto Valley Conference, but also knows how tough it can be to win on a night-to-night basis.
“A lot of the faces in the SVC I’m familiar with. The coaching from top to bottom, in my opinion, is the best around,” Teeters said. “Every night, you’re going to play a coach that’s been around a long time and one that knows the game of baseball. So we’re trying to bring in organization and a coaching staff. I’ve got a great group of guys and couldn’t ask for better assistants. Those things are a huge part of getting your program to where it needs to be.”
So far, so good.
Teeters also said Piketon’s administration has been extremely supportive, giving him the freedom to install necessary changes when possible.
“One of the first things I noticed when I got here … the administration has been great,” Teeters said. “We’ve asked for a lot of things and we’re getting them. Anytime you have the administration and community supporting you, that’s a big step in the right direction.”
Teeters’ varsity coaching career starts on March 23 as the Redstreaks host Meigs in a doubleheader.
“We just want to do things the right way,” Teeters said. “These guys have been down for a couple of years now and we just want to get things squared away. They’re a really good group of kids and there’s a lot of community support here. I’m excited to see how we do.”