Warriors clicking at right time

By Wes Holtsclaw
STAR STAFF

   Looking at high school baseball in this area, obviously you are going to see some changes from the beginning of the season.
   There have been a few teams catch the eyes of their conferences with their play during this phase of the season, whether it be successful or disappointing.
   HAPPY VALLEY
   Perhaps the biggest showing of a single unit thus far in the Watauga Conference has been the Happy Valley Warriors.
   The Warriors began their season on a rough note, but recently have won 10 of their last 11 games and have shot from the bottom towards the top in conference play.
   The emergence of team unity and fundamentals have been a big key with the squad, who will get a big rematch with Unicoi County on the road Monday.
   Happy Valley toppled Elizabethton 10-0 this past week, knocking the Cyclones out of a first place conference tie.
   UNICOI COUNTY
   The Blue Devils are sitting under .500 this season at 8-11, with a load of baseball talent in Erwin and a very tough schedule.
   The Devils have pulled out an array of solid wins, but Baseball City has slowly been turning to Softball City over the past few years.
   It will be interesting to see how Unicoi County finishes their season. Devil squads from the past have always fared well in post-season play and this team may have the fire and intensity to overcome some big losses.
   SOFTBALL
   Obviously with softball, there have been a few squads that have turned some heads. You have the same battle between University High and Unaka in the Watuaga Valley and a great rivalry between Happy Valley and Unicoi County in the Watauga.
   UNICOI COUNTY
   The Lady Devils lost so much talent last season, but are still leading the way in the Watauga Conference.
   Charlie Baxter's squad are currently undefeated in conference play after winning the state title last season. Their squad has handily made their statement in the conference, with the exception of their games against Happy Valley.
   CLOUDLAND
   This may surprise some people, but the Lady 'Landers have slowly begun to turn things around with their softball program.
   With an array of underclass talent on the team, Cloudland has played more competitive ball this season than they have in years past.
   The team is battling closer and closer to their first victory within the past two years, and may grab it before the season ends.
   MALE PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
   Jon Westphal, Johnson County: Struck out 14 batters in eight innings of work against Cloudland on Monday.
   FEMALE PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
   Laura Peters, Johnson County: Had an impressive one-hit outing from the mound against Hampton last week.
   EVENTS OF THE WEEK
   BASEBALL
   Happy Valley at Unicoi County (Mon.), University High at Unaka (Tues.), North Greene at Cloudland (Thurs.)
   SOFTBALL
   Elizabethton at Hampton (Tues.), Unaka at Happy Valley (Wed.), Hampton at Cloudland (Fri.)