The Warren Central baseball team has turned to one of its own to turn the Dragons around, with former player Jay Shockley officially introduced as head coach Tuesday.

Shockley, a 1995 graduate who was part of Warren Central’s 1993 region champion and 1994 region runner-up teams, replaces Adam Biller, who coached the Dragons the last four seasons.

Shockley said he is happy to be home after spending the last five years as an assistant baseball coach at Butler County High School.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Shockley said. “Most of my greatest memories are (my time at) Warren Central. The work is cut out for us and we will not back down from it. We are going to hit the ground running and work hard to get back to the caliber of team that it was in the past.”

Shockley inherits a program that has struggled in District 14 play. Warren Central finished 9-21 last season, going .500 against non-district opponents, but 1-13 against District 14 foes. The Dragons are 1-38 in district play the last three seasons and haven’t advanced to the Region 4 Tournament since 2010, when Warren Central won the region title.

Shockley said it’s going to take some work, but he is eager to build a winner – on and off the field.

“We are going to build a family atmosphere,” Shockley said. “I think the more time they spend with each other, the more camaraderie they will have on the field. In ‘93 and ‘94 when we were here and so good, that was our legacy – our relationships. Even after 20, 25 years, we still have that brotherly love toward each other. That’s what I want to put in these young men.”

And Shockley is eager to add more, encouraging his players to go out and convince friends that haven’t played in the past to join the program and help in the rebuild.

“I told them I wanted athletes,” Shockley said. “Warren Central has 1,000 kids in the school, 500 of them being guys. There are a lot of kids that are probably on the fence about whether to play or not to play and I want them.

“I’ve talked with (boys’ basketball coach William Unseld) and (football coach Carey Fowler) and I would like to have more athletes. It brings more competition and makes everybody better.”

Shockley added he hopes that competition will lead to a more competitive product in district play.

“We are going to take one step at a time, one game at a time and let these kids just grow and learn from their mistakes,” Shockley said. “Central hasn’t been so successful in the past few years, but hopefully with a lot of confidence we are going to change this thing around.”{&end}

– Follow prep sports reporter Micheal Compton on Twitter @mcompton428 or visit bgdailynews.com.

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Sports Writer. Cover prep sports, Hot Rods baseball, Titans football, and is the Daily News staff film critic.

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