Date: March 20, 2019
By: Eric Leary
In today’s “On The Field” edition of our High School Coach spotlight, Impact Baseball checks in with Jere Morton of Broughton High School, in Raleigh, NC.
At this point of the 2019 season how would you say it’s going? Based on your pre-season expectations how is your team’s progress towards those goals it may have set?
We have 10 seniors and this has been a year we’ve looked forward to since they stepped on campus four years ago. We have opened the season playing well against some well-coached and traditionally strong Raleigh area programs. There is still a lot of work to do towards our goals.
Weather is always an issue for baseball. This season has definitely presented some challenges. How have you adapted to the weather?
On days that the weather has not cooperated, our guys have had the drive to put in good work wherever is available. We also had an intense game of wiffle ball between JV and Varsity one rainy afternoon.
Who are the the players in your program going on to play at the next level? Also, who on your team deserves to get some attention from those looking for top players?
Xander Hamilton is a RHP/OF that has signed with Virginia Tech. Seniors Joe Barrow and Penn Sealey are both uncommitted seniors who are looking for the right fit on the next level. There are some juniors in the program that have a chance to play on the next level
as well with continued hard work.
How long have you been the head baseball coach at Broughton High School? And what other stops or sports have you made on your coaching journey? Additionally, who have been some influences in your coaching development?
This is my 3rd spring as the varsity baseball coach at Broughton. I coached the JV team for 2 years prior to my current position. I grew up around the game of baseball and a family of coaches. I spent summers watching American Legion baseball throughout my childhood due to my father coaching in Cary and my uncle coaching in Garner. I began coaching in 2008 as an assistant with the Cary Bulls Junior Legion program and have made coaching stops along the way since then with Cary High School (Asst. Coach), Showcase Baseball (Dirtbags!), Cary Babe Ruth (Head Coach), Middle Creek High School (Asst. Coach) and Wake Tech Community College (Recruiting Coord/Pitching Coach). I have also been fortunate enough to serve as a baseball instructor with the Town of Cary based out of the USA Complex for the last several years running camps and clinics.
Coaching influences have been my dad (Jere Morton III), my uncle (Moe Barbour), Ronnie Powell, Chris Kiec, Joe Blanchard, Harry Jones, and Jim Comis.
Who have been some of the most memorable players and teams you’ve had the opportunity to coach? What makes them stand out?
I’ve had a lot of players and teams over the years that are extremely memorable and naming a few would be a slap in the face to the many that deserve to be mentioned here. I have always had a strong relationship with my players and teams and it’s hard to single any out.
Rivalries and competition can sometimes be intense. But good coaches recognize and appreciate an opponent who brings out the best in them. Which teams and coaches in your career have you found to be the most challenging to face?
The Raleigh area has so many great coaches that every night you are going to go up against a coach that knows his stuff and has been around for awhile. One coach that comes to mind is Austin James at Millbrook HS. I respect him and his program but the contests are always intense. He gets the most out of his guys and it has brought some life back to an old Raleigh rivalry. Jeremy Thompson is another coach that I love to coach against — his teams are well prepared and he does a fantastic job scouting your guys. You can’t get anything by JT!
What is your favorite part of practice?
21 Outs — Outs 19-21 are the most fun for me. I love seeing who looks nervous and who is ready to finish the job.
What is your favorite position or skill to coach? Favorite drill?
Tough one – I’ve always coached pitching but I enjoy working with infielders a good bit. I’m a big fan of footwork around the bag on double plays and getting comfortable making uncomfortable plays in practice, with expectation that it becomes routine in games.
What does your program do on gameday that is unique or special?
Nothing that I know of – but I know those young men are tight and do a lot of superstitious things at times.
What is your favorite uniform and hat look for your program?
Love a clean, simple look. At a school like Broughton, especially, we take pride in our history and tradition. This is the 90th year of Broughton and we respect that with our uniforms. Personal favorite at BHS: Purple Hat, White/Purple Pinstripes.
What do you consider to be the best part of your facility at Broughton High School?
It’s right there in downtown Raleigh and that’s pretty cool. Also, the field was named after a former coach and there is a ton of history inside that park.
- When your team is hitting – coach 3B or dugout? 3B
- When you give signals to hitters – signs or wrist bands? SIGNS
- When your guy hits a HR – high five or fist bump? Fist Bump
- When you are in uniform – ankle length pants or high socks? High Socks when the pants allow. All the kids like these day are long pants!
- When you reach in your back pocket – stopwatch or no stopwatch? Probably a stop watch
- When you are marking your field – chalk or painted lines? Chalk is pretty sweet.
A huge thank you to Coach Morton for his time to share those insights about the game and on him and his program. Impact Baseball wishes him and his team all the best as they continue to compete this spring!
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