New leadership for Kannapolis Legion
The Kannapolis Post 115 American Legion baseball team will have new leadership this summer.
Matt Stack, an assistant coach last year, will take the reins.
Empsy Thompson has stepped down as head coach after three seasons and a 60-37 record. Kannapolis’ best season under Thompson was 2006 when it had a 33-10 record, won the Area III championship and advanced to the state tournament in Thomasville.
That team was led by current college players Garrett Sherrill, Blake Ketner, Ryan Query, Kyle Seager, Jerod Faggart and Jake Faggart.
Kannapolis slipped to an 11-16 mark in a rebuilding summer in 2007.
Joe Hubbard, former head coach of the Legion team and an assistant to Thompson the last three summers, also will not be back in uniform.
“We truly appreciate the time and effort Empsy and Joe have given to this program over the years and maintaining Kannapolis Legion baseball at the standard it is today,” Post 115 athletic director Jerry Garrett said. “Both men will be missed.”
Thompson coaches the A.L. Brown High team, while Hubbard coaches the Northwest squad.
Stack, a teacher and assistant coach at Lexington, is a 2003 Northwest graduate and played for Hubbard.
Stack was the hard-nosed left fielder for coach Tate Osborne on the 2003 Kannapolis Legion team that won Area III behind the pitching of Zach Ward and Lucas Dalton and advanced to the state tournament in Fayetteville. Kannapolis beat Snow Hill in the first round but lost to eventual state champion Cherryville and Pineville.
An all-round athlete, Stack played baseball at Erskine and football at Gardner-Webb.
“We are very excited to have a young, energetic person of Matt’s stature who is also very knowledgeable about the game,” Garrett said. “Matt has experiences at a higher level that he can share with our players, and he’s been very successful as a player. He has strong ties to the Kannapolis community and a strong desire to make sure the Kannapolis Legion program remains successful both on and off the playing field for years to come.”
Kannapolis’ schedule will be finalized soon. Home games will again be played at A.L. Brown.
Kannapolis has a strong Legion history, including trips to the state tournament under the currrent format in 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2006 and state championships in 1946, 1947, 1952 and 1961.