Stoney Stone

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Former right-handed pitcher Stoney Stone (left) joins head coach David Hardy on the North Delta baseball staff. The Panolian photo by Myra Bean

Former Rebel Stone joins ND baseball staff

By Myra Bean

Looking forward to building on this past playoff season, North Delta has hired former Rebel right-handed pitcher Stoney Stone to assist the baseball program.

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Stone will start his duties July 1 and be assistant to head coach David Hardy. He will head coach the junior high baseball team.

Stone brings to the program baseball knowledge gained directly from successful Rebel head baseball coach Mike Bianco. He also brings college and SEC knowledge to the program, according to new headmaster John Howell Jr.

Stone said a playoff appearance every 10 or 11 years is “not enough.” North Delta made the first round of the playoffs but lost in the third game of the first series.

“Coach Hardy carried the program into the playoffs and we are proud of that,” Howell said. “With Stoney’s arrival, we will now bring a development dimension to the program. We will be able to reach into the lower grades. We are confident we will build on the success of this season into the near future.”

Hardy said he was happy to have Stone on board and looked forward to working with him.

“He brings all that college baseball, SEC knowledge to put into effect and it will make a real difference,” Hardy added.

Stone said he brings youth and energy with him to the program.

“I played under a coach who wants to win and I want to win,” Stone said. “I want to make this a baseball school in addition to its existing strengths.”

Stone’s best baseball experience was playing under Bianco.

“No one compared to his knowledge of baseball,” Stone said. “He tells you what to do and then he tells you why. He made you understand why you did what you did.”

Stone said Bianco was also big on positive reinforcement and it is that example he plans to use as a coach.

“He would make you understand what you did wrong but would not degrade you,” Stone added.

Stone stands 6’5” and will also teach reading in the middle school.

“He will be teaching the players he coaches,” Howell said. “You get to know your players a lot better that way.”

Next summer, North Delta will launch a summer baseball program in which Stone will be a major factor. He also gives private lessons in pitching, hitting and fielding.

He is originally from Ruston, La. where his parents Robert and Lynne Stone still reside. Stone graduated from Ole Miss this year.

This past season, Brad Wilson assisted the baseball program. With the departure of Herman Coats as headmaster and head boys basketball coach, Wilson will take over coaching all phases of the boys basketball program.