Wampus Cats hire new coach

Published 10:47 am Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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As the Uwharrie Wampus Cats get set for their second season in 2024, the team will have a new head coach at the helm.

Josh Kent

Josh Kent will take over as skipper of the summer collegiate team that plays its home game at downtown Albemarle’s Don Montgomery Park. Kent spent the 2023 baseball season as a graduate assistant coach at Carolina University, a Christian college based in Winston-Salem.

He takes over for Houston Wright, who led the Wampus Cats to an 18-17 record in their first season in 2023.

“I am super excited for the opportunity to get my first summer underway as the head coach of the Wampus Cats,” Kent said. “I can’t wait to represent the city of Albemarle and give the Albemarle area a great season to look forward to. We are going to have an amazing group of guys that the fans are going to love.”

The 26-year-old Kent played college baseball for three seasons at the NCAA Division II level before finishing up his college playing career back home with the Carolina University Bruins. As a shortstop for the Bruins, he hit 12 home runs and batted .359 in his senior season at Carolina University, helping the team finish second in the nation in their division. Early in his career, he played mostly as a second and third baseman.

During summers in college, Kent played on North Carolina summer teams and also spent a summer playing with the Galion Graders of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League, a very-competitive league in the Midwest.

“I want our players to get better every day, compete and have fun,” Kent said. “I want to give players the opportunity to become leaders on our team so they can go back to their schools in the fall ready to add to their programs.”

Team co-owner and president Greg Sullivan said he’s excited to have another coach with North Carolina ties.

“Coach Wright did a great job for us building a competitive roster in Year 1 this past summer and got talented, hard-working players who bought into what we’re doing in Albemarle,” Sullivan said. “We expect to have some returners and have also begun adding some exciting new players to the mix.

“We’re excited to see how Coach Kent can build on the work we’ve started here as we get set to bring in a challenging slate of new opponents this year.”

Host families and volunteers needed

The team said they got off to a good start in terms of building relationships with families that hosted players for the summer this past year.

“We had a handful of out of area players this past summer who were housed locally,” Sullivan said. “We want to maintain a local and regional identity with the team but having some host families allows us to bring in a few key additions to the club every year to better compete with the best teams in our area and it lets top college players experience the Albemarle area. Our host families also get complimentary season tickets to all our home games.”

Anyone interested in becoming a host family or volunteering with the team in 2024 can reach out to Greg Sullivan at greg@wampuscatsbaseball.com.