DOBSON — Surry Central didn’t have to look far to find the next leader of the Golden Eagles’ varsity baseball program.
When Matt Scott stepped down from the the position after serving as Central’s head coach for eight years, it ended an era in which the Eagles made seven playoff appearances, two conference titles and a state Final Four appearance. While the team was winning on the field, Scott also presided over a massive upgrade to the school’s baseball facilities.
With Scott turning in his final lineup card last month in order to spend more time with his family, it made sense for the school to keep the program intact. On Tuesday, Surry Central announced that Seth Reece, the head coach of the Eagles’ junior varsity team for the past three seasons, has been promoted to head coach of the varsity unit.
“We are excited to have Coach Reece step up to the baseball challenge,” said SCHS athletic director Myles Wilmoth. “He is another former Golden Eagle who has returned to his alma mater willing to give back to the Dobson community. He is uniquely qualified to take the reins from Coach Scott and move the baseball program forward.”
Jason Hooker will continue to serve as assistant coach for the Central varsity. Hooker, a 1996 graduate of the school, has served in that capacity for the past three seasons.
“Coach Hooker and I have a very special group of young men, and we look forward to a seamless transition,” said Reece.
Reece is a 2004 graduate of Surry Central High School. As a student at SCHS, he played football and baseball for four years and basketball for three years, earning all-conference honors in football and baseball. In 2004, he was a member of the Golden Eagle baseball team that advanced to the third round of the state playoffs under the leadership of Coach Don Beane. In that season, Reece earned all-state honors as a second baseman. Reece is from a family of Golden Eagles, with his older brother and sister also receiving all-conference honors in multiple sports.
Following his graduation from high school, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2012.
Like his predecessor and many other current Surry Central coaches, Reece eventually came home to the Eagles. He began his teaching and coaching career at Central in August 2012. Reece teaches mathematics and also serves as an assistant coach for the football team.
“Coach Reece is a quiet leader with much experience and knowledge of the game. Our baseball players will be excited to hear this announcement,” said Principal Celia Hodges.
Reece’s record over the past couple of seasons bear out Hodges’ confidence. Surry Central’s JV team is 23-11 since 2015, and won the Western Piedmont Athletic Conference title two years ago.
The new coach thanked his predecessors for what they had taught him and for passing on a program that is already on solid footing.
“I want to thank Coach Scott and Coach Vernon for being my mentors. I am extremely grateful for all they have taught me. For the past eight seasons, they have given tremendous leadership in the baseball program. They created a winning tradition and a culture of excellence on and off the field,” he said. “I look forward to following in their footsteps and continuing the legacy of success that has defined our program for many years. It is also a unique opportunity to make the jump to varsity with a great group of players.”
Reece inherits a team that posted a 12-15 record this past spring, but was in contention for the WPAC title going into the last week of the regular season. Surry Central loses just four seniors from that team, and returns its top three hitters and top two pitchers.