Jesse Osborne, Turner Davis ready to assist alma mater South Effingham's baseball team

·3 min read
South Effingham's new assistant baseball coach Turner Davis, a former Mustangs player, gives batting instructing to Aaron Benton during some late evening batting cage work.
South Effingham's new assistant baseball coach Turner Davis, a former Mustangs player, gives batting instructing to Aaron Benton during some late evening batting cage work.

GUYTON — Round and round, baseball can take you in circles. Around the bases, on the pitcher’s mound, sometimes from a player coached to coaching a player.

South Effingham assistants Jesse Osborne and Turner Davis started as Mustangs players before circling back to the school with the new goals same as the old goals: building team, building character, winning baseball games.

“It’s good to be back,” said Davis, who joined Todd Eubanks’ staff this season after playing four years at Savannah State University. “You’ve been here. You know the culture and now you can come back and continue it. South Effingham is known for good baseball and, for however long I’m part of it, I know how it’s supposed to be done.”

Osborne, who played at Armstrong State, has been here as the pitching coach and assistant head coach throughout Eubanks’ four-year tenure.

“This is always going to be home,” Osborne said. “There’s a comfort level here.”

In accordance with Georgia High School Association rules, prep baseball practice began on Jan. 17 although coaches can work with groups of four in the preseason.

Then the work picks up a notch as preparation for the 2022 season begins. SEHS, which won a region championship last season and advanced to the Class 6A Elite Eight, is expected to be among the top teams in the state.

“Expectations are just that, expectations,” Osborne said. “This team on paper is really good. Now you have to go out and play.”

SEHS hoops: Andrew Butler serves up versatility for South Effingham boys squad

Davis and Osborne can relate. Davis was the Mustangs’ starting catcher who belted nine home runs during a run to the state Final Four in 2016. Osborne holds a share of SEHS’ single-season record with 11 wins as a pitcher. He arrived in Guyton in 2006 — the year after Josh Reddick graduated — and his teams made Final Four appearances in 2007 and 2008.

Now the roles have changed from players to coaches. Players from slightly different eras to new coaching battery mates.

South Effingham pitching coach Jessie Osborne, a former Mustangs pitcher, gives some insight on pitching to Dru Futch.
South Effingham pitching coach Jessie Osborne, a former Mustangs pitcher, gives some insight on pitching to Dru Futch.

Osborne is a central figure on Game Day while calling pitches from the dugout.

“I’ve been blessed since I got here,” Osborne said. “Coach Eubanks said (calling pitches) is your baby. We meet as a staff game-planning about different situations and how we’re going to approach calling the game, but I’ll have full reign (at game time).”

Davis will work with the catchers and hitters.

“It’s kind of the same approach with the catchers and hitters,” Davis said. “We’ll talk about it — this is our goal, this is what we do.”

SEHS football: Cameron Edwards heads to the Border to show wares

Local athletes: Five athletes at Effingham County high schools make their marks in 2021

The words should carry weight. Osborne and Davis have been here, done that. And played at the next level, too.

“It gives you some credibility but I think kids know if you know what you’re talking about five minutes after being around them,” Osborne said. “I think having connections (is also important to players). The guys I played with are now coaches around the state.”

For Davis, only 23, some current Mustangs might have been in the stands to see his 2016 SEHS club that had one player selected in the MLB draft, four players compete in Division I and two in Division II.

“That was a great team,” Davis said. “We just didn’t come away with the hardware. Hopefully, we can get it as coaches. At least that’s the goal.”

This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: South Effingham High baseball: Former players return as coaches

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting