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Adding Montgomery ‘best move’ coach ever made

Brandon Montgomery isn’t hard to miss in the Corydon Central dugout. He pounces on foul balls and keeps the energy up in the dugout with his voice that stands out among spectators and players.
Montgomery, entering his second year as the baseball team’s manager, has become a critical key of the team’s success. Last season, at the end-of-the-year baseball banquet, Corydon Central coach Zach Sipes gave high praise of Montgomery.
‘I told the team at the party, that the best move I made in the off-season was making him a part of our team,’ Sipes said when presenting the Panther Pride Award to Montgomery.
Montgomery came into the position due to an invitation from Sipes, his special education teacher at Corydon Central. Each year, the baseball team had the support of a team manager, but Sipes knew Montgomery would bring something different to the table.
‘Everyday in school, especially in the morning when I would be tired the day after a ball game, the first person to come up to me was Brandon,’ the fifth-year coach said. ‘He would always ask how I was doing, what was wrong and then do anything he could to put me in a better mood.’
Now the outgoing senior has found a home in the dugout and a part of the Panthers’ baseball team. Montgomery also takes classes at the Prosser School of Technology in New Albany and is attempting to get his driver’s license soon. There is little denial that the baseball field is a place he loves to be.
During games, it’s hard to find Montgomery sitting on the bench. His high energy level keeps him on the fence, yelling at players to keep their spirits up and doing anything to help them get a hit or an out on defense.
‘Even when we may be losing, he still cheers,’ said fellow senior Brett Eads.
Montgomery said Eads is one of the players he is going to miss the most, especially from a motivational standpoint.
‘He’s easy,’ Montgomery said about keeping outfielder in line. ‘In practice (the other day), he got mad because he missed some balls. So, I’m going to have a talk with him today.’
Easygoing probably best describes Montgomery, who takes punch lines from fellow seniors about having the best beard on the team and finding ways to make conversations with players’ girlfriends.
His fun-natured abilities make his watchful eye even more apparent.
‘He tells coach Sipes if we do something wrong or if we skip laps when we run,’ senior catcher Nolan Brightman said. ‘He even notices when we sneak food on the bus.’
Montgomery is a straight-and-narrow manager, always looking out for the good of the team.
‘Even when we are doing good, he tells us to work even harder,’ senior outfielder Nate Cecil said.
Montgomery will occasional participate in running drills with the team.
Cecil, known for his tendencies to be overly outgoing, is the guy Montgomery likes the most.
‘I like them all, but Nate stands out,’ he said. ‘He’s funny and reminds me of myself.’
As the 2008 baseball season is set to begin, Sipes has a student manager to lean on, who is always watching his back. Outside of his typical manager duties of getting equipment out and staying on top of foul balls, Montgomery takes a strong liking to the Gator utility vehicle. He said that is one of perks of the gig, driving the Gator, helping set up the field and getting McDonald’s after games.
Montgomery takes his job seriously, and Sipes realized his passion to help the team after traveling back to Corydon after a disappointing loss to Austin.
‘I gave Brandon a ride home and noticed he was unusually down about the loss,’ Sipes said. ‘I asked why he was upset and it was because he thought he slowed down the game because he wasn’t doing his job of getting balls to the umpire fast enough. He felt he let the team down.’
Sipes assured his assistant that wasn’t the reason the team lost but took in an appreciation of his desire to help the team succeed. The team appreciates Montgomery’s efforts, as well.
The Corydon Central baseball team opens the season Monday when its hosts Borden at 5 p.m.