Impact Baseball traveled down I-95 south to interview legendary Lumberton High School baseball coach Paul Hodge. Hodge has been a mainstay at the helm of Lumberton baseball program since 1990. Coach Hodge and the Lumberton Pirates which play in the Southeastern 4A conference are eagerly waiting the start of the 2013 season.
Name: Paul Hodge
Lumberton High School Head Baseball Coach
Number of Years at Lumberton: 23 Years
Location: Lumberton, N.C.
Lumberton has always had really good clubs year in and year out.. What's your secret?
Our secret to success is no secret we believe in pitching and defense, I would say probably 75 percent of our practice is focused on this aspect. We also believe in putting a lot of pressure on the opponent, with small ball and being aggressive on the base paths.
Lumberton baseball has always had a great fan support, what do you attribute that to?
Fan support is so important in selling your program; we try to have a lot of different events throughout the year. This year will be our seventh pink game; we have funded a 10,000 dollars scholarship to UNC-Pembroke through that game. We are also adding four home games this year to raise money for the wounded warrior project. The varsity will be wearing camo jerseys and we have four former players who are serving in our military throwing out the first pitches.
What should people expect from your club this year?
This year should be very interesting; we have a lot of youth. We are planning on starting four sophomores, but also have some seniors and juniors with playing experience that should step up and be leaders for this team. This team should be strong on the mound, with a lot of speed on the bases.
What's your varsity roster looking like? (Seniors, Juniors, etc.)
The starting lineup should include four sophomores, one junior, four seniors. The bulk of our pitching staff are all underclassmen.
Who's the best player you have ever coached?
The best player I have ever coached is a tough question; I have coached in the state games with alot of great players. When thinking about this question two kids at Lumberton High School come to mind are; Brandon Bryant who was an All-State performer, 2005 player of the year in the conference and region four player of the year. Another name that comes to mind is Mac Read who was also an All-State performer and our 2006 player of the year in the conference. He also led the eastern part of North Carolina in 2005 in strike outs.
What are your hobbies outside of coaching baseball?
My hobbies outside of baseball are spending time with my daughter, Morgan. She is my heart and soul.
What's your favorite movie?
My favorite movie is Field Of Dreams. In 2005, I actually visited the field in Iowa.
Who's your favorite college football team?
My favorite college football team is Notre Dame. I usually try to go to at least one game a year, this year I went to the Oklahoma game.
Who's your favorite MLB team?
My favorite MLB team is the Yankees
What's your Super Bowl prediction?
Ravens by a touchdown. I have to pull for them, the starting fullback Vonta leach was a former student of mine.
Impact Baseball would like to thank Coach Hodge for his "Under The Gun" interview. We wish Lumberton and Coach Hodge the best of luck this spring season..