Originally created 06/27/04

Mims saw his squad's potential early



Just about every coach in the area gives more than a season's worth of time to his team. Some triple the amount of time commitment they ask of their players.

They mow and line the field, shape the infield dirt, order the jerseys, and recruit willing parents to take the reins of the booster club.

That's the norm. Exceeding the modern-day high school coach expectation is what Don Mims did at Glascock County.

Mims' steps are all over perhaps the proudest moments in Panthers baseball history - a two-season record of 50-13 with appearances in the Georgia High School Association Class A semifinal rounds each year.

The 2004 Augusta Chronicle All-Area Public Schools Coach of the Year's efforts stretch back to working with this year's senior class when the players cared more about model cars than models or cars.

"I noticed our seniors when they were in sixth grade," Mims said. "I saw great potential."

Those players saw a lot of the varsity coach when they were still years away from the junior varsity team.

"Soon as we all came up to middle school, coach Mims started working with us the same way he'd work with the varsity," Glascock County's Adam Chalker said.

Pitching ace Matt Kent saw the same when he joined Glascock County's Class of 2004 in the eighth grade.

"He helped us all immensely by taking the time with us when we were real young because he saw talent and not just players he'd help in a few years," Kent said. "He would build a relationship with you personally before going into baseball."

One of Mims' biggest tasks was a program change in attitude.

"Coach Mims deserves most of the credit for shaping Glascock into such a strong program," Chalker, the team catcher, said. "He changed the Glascock perspective. He brainwashed into all of us that it stinks to lose and how great it its to win."

A familiar mantra was small-sized Glascock County had to work twice as hard to make up for its low numbers and lack of tradition.

Glascock County won two games in each of the previous two seasons before Mims arrived seven seasons ago.

Mims recently accepted the baseball job at Metter High School. He'll miss the relationships the most. It's hard to undo seven years with a moving van and a new team ball cap.

"I credit the kids here for all their hard work," Mims said. "Whenever my phone rang and someone said their swing wasn't right and they needed extra batting practice, I'd go work with them. I never turned a kid down. But they had to be the ones to want the help."