First Flight baseball and softball teams off to strong start

By on March 22, 2024

By Joel Diaz | Outer Banks Voice

The varsity First Flight High School Nighthawks baseball team, under the guidance of head coach Brian Lackey, has kicked off the 2024 season strong with a 5-1 record, including four conference victories. Despite a setback against Greenbrier Christian Academy, the team bounced back with notable wins against Northeastern, Perquimans, and Manteo. On March 21, they defeated rival Manteo by an 11-2 score.

Coach Lackey highlights pitching as a strong point, with returning conference starters Isaac Miles and Jordan Kempton leading the rotation. Additionally, the return of Riley Gibson adds depth to the mound after a limited appearance last season due to injury.

Offensively, the Nighthawks benefit from All-Conference hitters such as Gabe Kelly, Riley Gibson, and Aaron Stewart. Lackey points to the team’s balanced lineup, which includes both contact and power hitters capable of leaving the yard. Despite facing a difficult schedule, which includes Currituck and Camden, as well as nonconference matchups against tough Virginia teams, Lackey remains bullish about the teamā€™s potential for success.

As Lackey told The Voice, “Lawrence Academy will be a good challenge. Oscar Smith, Grassfield, and Ocean Lakes are all out of Virginia and will be good clubs to compete against. Our spring break trip to Greenville will include Reidsville and JH Rose. I’m a firm believer in playing the toughest teams you can play to see where you stack up, and I think we’re going to see a lot of good teams this year.”

The Varsity Softball team, under the guidance of coach Ray Richards, has enjoyed a very impressive start to the season, with a 6-0 record, including 4-0 in the conference. In its most recent tilt, the team defeated Manteo 7-1 on March 21.

Freshman pitcher Riley Gilreath has emerged as a standout player this season. Making an impact in a recent win, Gilreath pitched six innings, conceding just two earned runs off seven hits. Additionally, senior Hailey Stanley displayed her abilities by scoring three runs, stealing a base, and consistently reaching base in four out of five plate appearances. The team now prepares for upcoming doubleheaders against conference rivals Camden and Hertford County.


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