Freeman resigns as baseball coach

Watauga head baseball coach Seth Freeman resigned his position on May 13.

Watauga baseball head coach Seth Freeman has plenty on his mind, especially when it comes to getting married.

He has plenty of decisions to make before he marries his fiancé Kristen Mathis. Freeman made one of those decisions May 13 when he resigned his post and will move to Cherryville with his fiancé.

Freeman taught and coached at Cherryville High School for four years after graduating from Davidson. He took the job of head baseball coach at Watauga High in 2017.

“Kristen and I decided that now was the right time to make the move,” Freeman said. “We both love the Boone area, and I hate to leave after only two seasons, but it was the right decision for us at this time.”

Freeman will finish the semester as a math teacher at Watauga High School. Freeman coached the Pioneers to an overall record of 15-31, 13-15 in the Northwestern Conference. The Pioneers finished 10-15 overall in 2019, 9-5 in the NWC.

Freeman expressed gratitude to the Watauga County Schools administration and to the administration at Watauga High School.

“I definitely want to say thank you to Dr. (Chris) Blanton, coach Dustin Kerley, (Assistant) Superintendent Dr. (Steven) Martin, and (Superintendent) Dr. (Scott) Elliott for giving me the chance to teach and coach at Watauga High School.”

Freeman is the third coach Watauga has hired since longtime coach Pete Hardee left for Alexander Central in 2016. David Lee took over in 2017 and stayed for two seasons before leaving. Chris Moore, who spent time in the Colorado Rockies organization and more recently coached Watauga’s middle school program, took over the varsity program in 2018, but left to become an assistant coach at UNC Wilmington.

Freeman was brought to Watauga in 2018 and led the Pioneers to a 5-16 overall record, 4-10 in the NWC. Freeman was proud of how the Pioneers rebounded from 2018. The Pioneers went on a six-game winning streak during the 2019 season and beat rival and NWC champion South Caldwell two times for the first time since 2011.

Two Watauga players, Hayes Henderson in 2018 and Andrew Dye in 2019, advanced to play college baseball.

“I am extremely grateful to all of our players over the past two seasons for their commitment to this program, for the way they worked each and every day, and the way they represented this program on and off the field,” Freeman said. “I wish them the best moving forward.”

Freeman said Watauga would still participate in a summer instructional league that will be coached by junior varsity coach Ethan Greene. Freeman said he appreciated the work that Greene, pitching coach Craig Scheffler, first-base coach Jason Phelps and assistant coach Shawn Clements contributed to the team.

“I can’t say thank you enough to my assistant coaches for their dedication to this program,” Freeman said. “I feel blessed to have been able to coach with them for two seasons. And I know I am a better coach for it.”

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