Sanford Area High School Baseball Looking for a “Normal” Season – 14 Games Set on WFJA Sports

WFJA Staff Report

The 4th season of Sanford Area Baseball on WFJA Sports is set to hit the airwaves on Tuesday, March 8th with the Lee County Yellow Jackets hosting the Union Pines Vikings.  WFJA Sports has 14 regular season games featuring Southern Lee, Lee County, Grace Christian, and the Sandhills 3A/4A Conference.   As the weather warms and the days grow longer, anticipation of a “normal” season amongst the coaches is growing and the players are ready. The 2022 season is set to start at the normal time of year – coming off back-to-back shortened seasons – with 2020 halted two games into the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and 2021 delayed and shortened due to the rescheduling of fall sports to the spring.

Starting on-time and playing a full season, will be a new occurrence for all Junior class players and younger. Even the Seniors, at this point, have only experienced one full season in their high school careers. Unsurprisingly, this has been a topic of discussion from the local coaches, in terms of staying focused, healthy, and ready to play out, what should hopefully be, a lengthy and exciting spring season.

However, the experience of playing from the chilly March nights into the humid May evenings won’t be the only new obstacle that our local players will face this year. After years of playing familiar opponents in a familiar conference, the Tri-County 6 now ceases to exist. In its place comes a variety of conference foes.


In February of 2021, the NCHSAA officially voted, with input from all high school athletic directors in the state, to realign all conferences beginning in the fall of 2021. This plan, set to run through the 2025 academic year, created the Sandhills 3A/4A conference, now home to Lee County and Southern Lee. The conference, comprised of seven teams, is predicted to be highly competitive and is being considered one of the best (if not THE best) baseball conferences in the entire state.

  • LEE COUNTY – 3A | 2021 Record: 9-5, 6-4 | Head Coach: Jevon Wade

    • While the Yellow Jackets missed the state playoffs in 2021, they still had plenty to be pleased with, first and foremost with then-Senior Carson Kelly, who put up another shining season on the mound before heading to NC State. With Kelly now gone, the Yellow Jackets look to find success with not only a young pitching staff, but a young team in general.

      Like recent seasons, the Jackets will be looking for top-notch offensive production from the entire lineup. While having an ace on the mound in the past practically insured a victory, often it was Lee County’s big bats that put them in the winning column. Despite the new conference, look for the Yellow Jackets to provide plenty of sting at the plate.

  • SOUTHERN LEE – 3A | 2021 Record: 7-6, 6-4 | Head Coach: David Lee

    • Like their crosstown rivals, Southern Lee missed the 2021 playoffs as well. As in previous years, the 2021 Cavaliers rode the backs of strong defense and a strong pitching staff. The Cavaliers struggled at times to score in the 2021 late spring season but with good pitching seemed comfortable in tight games.

      Southern Lee comes into 2022 with a young team, showcasing only a handful of Seniors, all of whom have now had 4 years of experience playing together. The Cavaliers will continue looking to ride the back of a strong rotation and bullpen, while working with a well-rounded, but not necessarily explosive, offense. Get ‘em on, get ‘em over, get ‘em in.

  • UNION PINES – 3A | 2021 Record: 12-2, 8-1 | Head Coach: Eric Marion

    • The Vikings remain a conference opponent for the Jackets and Cavaliers after the realignment and remain a highly respected opponent at that. The Vikings seemingly ran away with the conference title in 2021, with only one blemish on their record in the regular season: a late-season home loss to Southern Lee in a tight 5-4 final.

      Big things were expected for UP heading into the state playoffs. However, a first-round exit at the hands of Terry Sanford caught many by surprise. Nonetheless, the Vikings see numerous productive players returning for the 2022 season and could be a force to be reckoned with once again.

  • HOKE – 4A | 2021 Record: 1-13, 1-11 | Head Coach: Jamie Coleman

    • 2021 is a season that Hoke would rather forget and move on from. With their one solo win coming over Richmond by a final of 3-1, the Bucks look to improve in 2022. In retrospect, Hoke played quite a few Freshmen on their roster last season, so one would think that “another year older, another year wiser” could be in play this year. Time will tell as Hoke prepares to face off against both new and familiar faces in this conference.

  • PINECREST – 4A | 2021 Record: 14-2, 11-1 | Head Coach: Jeff Hewitt

    • On the opposite end of the spectrum of the old Sandhills 4A conference, Pinecrest produced an incredibly impressive season in 2021. An explosive offense combined with a shutdown rotation, the Patriots produced a +93-run differential, barely allowing two runs per game on average. Pinecrest eventually ran into the buzzsaw that was Fuquay-Varina in the second round of the playoffs – FV eventually went on to win the 2021 4A State Championship. This ending to 2021 will surely fuel the Patriots in 2022 – hold on, folks; Pinecrest isn’t going anywhere.

  • RICHMOND – 4A | 2021 Record: 5-9, 4-8 | Head Coach: Rob Ransom

    • An up-and-down season was the theme for the Richmond Raiders in 2021. After dropping their first four contests, they went on to win three in a row – they then alternated two losses with two wins, before losing their final three games. With that being said, the Raiders are expected to turn the tide in 2022. Consistency will be the key for Richmond in the new conference, especially with conference games beginning so early in the season for everyone.

  • SCOTLAND – 3A | 2021 Record: 12-4, 10-2 | Head Coach: Greg Wrape

    • Just how good was Scotland in 2021? Their only two conference losses were to the conference champion Pinecrest. And like Pinecrest, the Scots went on to make the state playoffs, losing a close game in the second round. Scotland looks to return to form with their high-powered offense that averaged over 7 runs per game last season. The Scots are another dangerous team to look out for this season.


  • 2021 Record: 21-2, 8-0 | Head Coach: Michael Matson

    • In 2021, the Crusader squad was just about as good as a team can get. Grace scored an average of 17 – YES 17 – runs per game and put 30 runs on the board more than once in a seven inning game. They allowed only 3.6 runs per game, giving them an INCREDIBLE +309-run differential on the season.

      The only pitfall for the Crusaders came in the state championship series, where they dropped two out of three to the champions Kerr-Vance Academy over a tough-fought weekend series. WFJA Sports is excited to bring a select number of Grace Christian games to our listeners this season, including a 2-game series against Lee County. The Crusaders came close to a title in 2021 – this season, they look to capture it.

Sanford Area Baseball games will be broadcast on WFJA 105.5 FM, as well as online here at Stay tuned to WFJA’s website and social media for news, scores, and schedule updates. Play ball!

2022 Sanford Area High School Baseball Schedule on WFJA Sports.  

Veteran Baseball Play-By-Play Announcer Austin Thomas will be behind the microphone once again for WFJA Sports bringing our listeners exciting Sanford Area Baseball!   

Tu.08-MarLee County vs Union PinesLee County7:00
Fri.11-MarSouthern Lee vs RichmondSouthern Lee7:00
Tu.15-MarSouthern Lee vs ScotlandSouthern Lee7:00
Fri.25-MarGrace Christian vs CrossroadsGrace Christian5:00
Tu.29-MarSouthern Lee vs HokeSouthern Lee7:00
Fri.01-AprLee County vs PinecrestLee County7:00
Thu.07-AprSouthern Lee vs NorthwoodSouthern Lee7:00
Fri.08-AprLee County vs RichmondLee County7:00
Tu.12-AprLee County vs ScotlandLee County7:00
Thu.14-AprSouthern Lee vs Union PinesSouthern Lee7:00
Tu.19-AprGrace Christian vs Lee CountyGrace Christian7:00
Thu.21-AprLee County vs Grace ChristianLee County7:00
Tu.26-AprSouthern Lee vs Lee CountySouthern Lee7:00
Fri.29-AprLee County vs Southern LeeLee County7:00

This schedule is TENTATIVE and subject to change. Schedule changes will be posted on the WFJA website.

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