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The Georgia Dugout Club honored three locals as (l-r) Pirates coach Blake Parrott earned the 2022 AAA Assistant Coach of the Year award, Braden Osbolt was presented with the AAA Player of the Year award and Pirates head caoch Don Hanson earned the AAA Coach of the Year honor.

Coaches, Player of Year honored

Pirates baseball head coach Don Hanson was named 2022 AAA Baseball Coach of the Year and coach Blake Parrott was named the 2022 Assistant Coach of the Year by the Georgia Dugout Club.

“Both of these guys are tireless workers. They spend countless hours on the field preparing it for game days and giving our players the best conditions to play on. They want the kids to be successful. They push the kids daily be the best version of themselves and to improve on the field and off daily,” said coach Kevin Mobley. “Don has been doing this for a long time, but he is not against change. As a head coach, he lets his assistant coaches share their knowledge. Blake is always willing to learn new things and give them a try. They both have the same goal and that is to make Pike County’s baseball the best program in the state of Georgia.”

Coach Hanson has earned the AAA Coach of the Year honor three times and has coached 588 games in his 19 years as the head coach at Pike. His career coaching record with the Pirates is 447-141 and includes five consecutive region championships.

“Being named the Georgia Dugout Club AAA Coach of the Year is a very prestigious award. There were 59 teams in our division, so winning a state championship and being name AAA Coach of the Year is a big deal. I’m very grateful that the Georgia Dugout Club considered me for this honor.”

“Coach Hanson has been a staple in the Pike County community for the last 20 years. Coach Hanson is the key behind the Pirates baseball machine. He is constantly doing things behind the scenes to push the program to the top of the state of Georgia. His consistency is a big reason why the Pirates program has been highly successfully during his stint as head coach,” said coach Craig Chatman.  

Coach Blake Parrott is a Pirates alum who has been an assistant coach at Pike County High School for seven seasons and helped get the team to five back to back region championships and two state championship titles.

“When Coach Parrott is not throwing batting practice, hitting fly balls or infield grounders, or helping out with the catchers or first basemen, he can be found cutting grass and helping to manicure one of the best-looking fields in the state of Georgia,” said coach Chatman. “Don and Blake are both outstanding coaches and men. They are much more concerned with the development of their young men than they are with accolades such as these.”

Blake said he hopes to continue to learn from coach Hanson and follow in his footsteps to continue to lead the Pirates.

“Winning this is amazing but it wouldn’t be possible without the guys that I get the privlege to coach each and every day. If it was not for them I wouldn’t be able to achieve this. So in all reality their names should be the one on the award, because without them I don’t have this honor,” said Blake. “We all are committed to making each student athlete, not just the best player, but the best person they can be and that comes from his leadership. We realize that they all are not going to get drafted and become a professional athlete, but they will one day become husbands, fathers and contributors to society and that is what we want them to be the most successful at. We work tirelessly all year and pour all we have into all our guys. We aren’t perfect and never will be, but we try to give our guys all we have. Baseball is a game of life and teaches us how to respond to failure. We say all the time that we either win or we learn. I just hope that we are teaching them what is the most important thing in life and that it isn’t winning a game, but winning at life.”

Braden Osbolt also received an award as the 2022 AAA Player of the Year Friday at the Georgia Dugout Club Coaches Clinic. Braden is now a freshman pitcher at Kennesaw State University.

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