Ultimate Road Trip
Baseball, Sports

Ultimate Road Trip

By Kye Berger

Head coach Devin Wilburn and former assistant coach Corey Roach had been planning a spring break trip for Delta baseball for more than a year. 

Roach came up with the idea and told Wilburn that when the time is right and the team is ready, then he should follow through with it.

Unfortunately, Roach won’t get to see the plan be brought to life.

He faced an untimely death at age 47 due to lung cancer on Dec. 7, 2022.

But because of his passing, Wilburn thinks it’s now time.

“He passed away unexpectedly. And it made me want to make sure we followed through with the plan,” Wilburn said.

 So next week during Spring Break, the team will be going to Nashville, Tenn. This trip will help the players bond and experience playing in a different atmosphere. 

Ultimately, the five-day outing should help prepare the team for their upcoming season.

There will be 40 people going on this trip. The group includes 34 players, four coaches, a manager, and a bus driver. 

The funding for the trip came mainly from boosters along with some donations. Each player was charged a small amount to help offset some of the price for the trip.

On Sunday, March 24 the team will depart from Delta on a charter bus for their seven-hour journey.  Wilburn said a charter bus is the most collegiate and safe way for the team to travel.

 They will stop once for lunch and will sit by someone of their choice on the bus. They can take blankets for their own comfort.

Coach with snacks
Head coach Devin Wilburn looks over a room full of snacks. These will be for the team during their spring break trip. (Photo by RJ Townsend)

Wilburn said he is “pulling out all the stops” for this trip to make it the best experience possible for this group of guys. 

They will be staying in a lodge south of Nashville called The Five Star Retreat. 

The lodge is three floors and each room has multiple bedrooms with bunks. Four players will share a room with a king and twin sized bed. 

Once the team arrives at the lodge Sunday night they will settle in and get used to the place.

All of the food will be taken care of between games and at the lodge by the boosters. 

Running off the field
Pitcher Zane Cline and catcher Brady Carrigan leave the field at the end of an inning. They are looking forward to bonding with teammates on the Tennessee trip. (Photo Provided)

March 25-26 the team will focus on bonding.

Community High School is providing the team with two hours of practice time during these days. 

 The lodge has over 400 acres of scenic land where the team can hike, fish, swim and enjoy nature. 

One of the highlights that the team is looking forward to is attending the Division 1 Vanderbilt University baseball game. 

The team will head to Nashville on Tuesday evening to watch the Commodores face the Valparaiso Beacons.

JV head coach Jacob Van Pelt has spent nearly a decade playing and coaching in Delta baseball and being around the program. His father Joel Van Pelt coached many years at Delta.

Jacob Van Pelt believes the trip will be a good excursion for the guys and a good way to bring them closer together as a team. 

  “We never got to do that when I went here so that’s a pretty cool thing that they’re getting to do,” he said. “I’m jealous of them from that standpoint.”

The coaches will lead their guys into battle on March 27. JV and varsity will play two games each (doubleheaders). 

They will play Community High School on their home dirt. 

The next day they will play at Forest High School, where the varsity will face John Paul II Prep Academy, and the JV will go up against Forest. 

Forest High School will provide a locker room to the players so after the competition is over they can shower and be on their way.

The players are excited for the trip.

Runner on second
Gavin Case takes his lead at second base in a game last season.  Case plays center field for the Eagles. (Photo Provided)

“I think it’ll make our team closer, which will in turn help us on the field during our season,” junior center fielder Gavin Case said.

They’ll be coming into this season unsatisfied after having an early exit in the tournament run last year. 

They went to the sectional championship where they lost a close game (3-2) against the New Castle Trojans.

The Eagles went 11-17 last year with only two seniors on the team.. 

Senior pitcher Kayden Thomas believes Coach Wilburn has not only helped him grow as a player and has been doing some good things for him but has also impacted the team.

Pitcher throws
Kayden Thomas strides out with all his power to deliver a pitch last season. He is one of the Eagles’ top pitchers. (Photo Provided)

“In past years we haven’t been able to connect,” Kayden said. “I’m getting to know the guys better than before.”

Kayden says they have all the talent that they need, they just need to work together to get where they want.                  

Senior catcher Brady Carrigan said he’s excited for the team bonding opportunities.

“And I’m hoping we just go out and win against some Tennessee teams,” he said.

First baseman Jacob Roach says the trip will be great.

“It’ll help the team come together much better and be an actual team.” Roach said.

Home run celebration
Jacob Roach (22) is surrounded by teammates after hitting a home run last spring. Jacob plays first base. (Photo Provided)

He said Coach Wilburn has done positive things for the program.

“There have definitely been some times where he has had to rebuild the team, but for what he’s done so far, I think he’s definitely done a good job,” Jacob said,

He is the son of assistant coach Roach, and he says his father would be happy that they are going on the trip.         

March 21, 2024

About Author

Kye Berger

kyeberger Kye Berger is a freshman at Delta High School. He plays baseball, basketball, and football. He enjoys lifting and is the goat at Donkey Kong. His favorite place to be is on his family land in Tennessee and he loves Jesus above all. Amen.


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