By ARTHUR L. MACK
Saraland baseball coach Brett Boutwell picked up his 400th career win with a 10-3 victory over Beauregard on March 11.
“This win means a lot because it gives you time to reflect on what you’ve got,” he said. “I know the players at Saraland who helped us to get to this point, as well as good administrators and assistant coaches.”
Boutwell, who moved to 400-169 in 17 years of coaching with the milestone victory, is in his ninth year at Saraland, where he is 204-87. He spent his first eight years as the head coach at UMS-Wright, where he won six area titles and two state championships in 2010 and 2011.
“It’s all about the players and the assistant coaches putting in all the hard work,” he said. “One of the most memorable times for me as a head coach was winning those two state titles at UMS-Wright. A lot of the teams we had there had some really good players.
“I cannot stress enough about how good the assistant coaches are that I have. I’ve been fortunate to be around good ballplayers and assistant coaches and administrators.”
Boutwell said Saraland’s current success is also due to support from the school’s administration.
“I’m looking at my time here at Saraland with Dr. (Aaron) Milner (Saraland City Schools superintendent) and coach (Jeff) Kelly (athletic director) helping us to build something bigger and bigger,” he said. “We’ve had six area championships and a lot of playoff runs and just seeing these kids buying into what we’re trying to do is satisfying.”
Boutwell said a rigorous early schedule — including defending Class 4A state champion Mobile Christian, Class 5A state champion Russellville, Class 6A state champion Hartselle and Class 7A champion Central-Phenix City — will help the Spartans contend for a Blue Map themselves.
“We’re trying to get our kids battle tested and get them ready for our area schedule,” he said. “Hopefully, it will get us prepared for a playoff run. I told our team that was the reason we scheduled IMG Academy and beat them, as well as scheduling the No. 1 Class 6A team in Mississippi, Lewisburg. This past weekend, our kids fought and played hard and I think it’s going to carry over to the next couple of weeks.”
Saraland visits Davidson Thursday and hosts Mobile Christian Friday.