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By LARRY GOFFINET
TELL CITY—One Heritage Hills graduate did a good job as Tell City’s baseball coach, so another one has been hired to replace him.
Jason Wilkerson, 38, was hired as the Marksmen’s new baseball coach Nov. 12. He succeeds Mark Wahl, who resigned in June to become William Tell Elementary’s assistant principal.
Wilkerson, a 1992 Heritage Hills graduate, played shortstop for the Patriots, making All-Pocket Athletic Conference twice. His senior year they were 25-2 and ranked fifth in the state before losing to Evansville Memorial in the regional finals.
He then played shortstop and second base in college—two years for Vincennes University and one year for the University of Southern Indiana.
Both his Vincennes teams were ranked in the top seven in the nation in junior colleges.
He then spent six years in the Marine Corps before starting his coaching career at Heritage Hills. He was there 2000-05 as the varsity assistant and JV coach.
He coached Tell City’s junior legion baseball team in 2011 and helped Wahl coach the Hoosier Express senior legion team (a combination of Tell City and Heritage Hills players, with a few from Forest Park) in 2012.
Wilkerson said he hopes Wahl will remain involved in Tell City’s summer baseball programs.
Wilkerson said Friday his philosophy as a baseball coach is “pretty simple: If you throw strikes and make the routine plays, the wins and losses will take care of themselves.
“I have one rule: to respect the game—play hard and run everything out.”
After winning their first conference title in 29 years in 2011, the Marksmen went 12-17 last spring with a young team. Six starters from their sectional lineup return this year.
“I expect us to be in the running for the conference and sectional titles,” said Wilkerson. “Mark set a great foundation for this season. We’ve got a talented group of sophomores and juniors and a couple of seniors who can play for us.”
John Atkins, who coached Crawford County to the Patoka Lake Athletic Conference title last spring but now teaches at Tell City, was named Wilkerson’s varsity assistant.
Austin Fischer will remain the JV coach. “I coached him four years at Heritage Hills so we know each other pretty well,” said Wilkerson.