Hammond broke a 14-year title drought last spring, winning its first SCISA Class 3A baseball championship since 1999.
But with graduation exacting a heavy toll, the Skyhawks may have trouble maintaining power in Region 1-3A after winning the pennant eight times in the past nine seasons.
“We have four good pitchers that will throw strikes, but we have a lot of new faces in the field and I’m concerned about our ability to score runs,” said veteran Skyhawks coach Ray Derrick, whose team went 24-7 a year ago.
Hammond will rebound around veteran pitchers Fred Wadsworth, Harrison Long and Cantey Heath.
James Shepherd, Tyler Lanham, Thomas Middleton and Harrison McGee are newcomers to watch.
The Skyhawks are off to a 2-0 start and have an interesting game at Brookland-Cayce on March 11.