By Thomas Grant Jr.
The air of excitement of winning a championship remains as fresh now for the Lexington County Blowfish as it did five months ago.
At Wednesday’s first team luncheon for 2024 at the VIP Stadium room, the organization was still reveling in the Coastal Plain League title won last August. The television monitors displayed a team picture and on-field celebration after winning the title.
Team co-owner Bill Shanahan displayed the team championship rings designed in Lexington. He had planned to present one at the meeting to former head coach Jonathan Johnson, who was unable to attend.
Shanahan also announced the addition of new pitching coach Michael Menhart. A native of Richmond Hill, Ga., Menhart attended LaGrange College and was drafted in 2018 by the Washington Nationals.
He’s currently a graduate assistant at Columbus State. He’s the first new hire for second-year head coach K.C. Brown.
In other team-related business, the Blowfish announced plans for the 10th annual Lexington County Chili Cookoff. It’s scheduled to take place Feb. 18 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Icehouse Amphitheater in Lexington.
Presented by the Old Mill Brewpub and the Lexington County Blowfish, attendees sample chili recipes from more than 25 cook teams. There will also be bands and performers on state providing entertainment during the event.
Advance tickets for adults are $12 (plus tax). Tickets purchased on the day of the event are $15 (plus tax) for adults. Child tickets (12 and under) may be purchased at the event for $5 each.
Proceeds from the Cookoff will benefit the Town of Lexington Police Foundation and other Lexington County charitable organizations.
At 2 p.m. March 9 on Main Street in Lexington, the Blowfish and Shanahan Sports Entertainment will hold the ninth Annual Shamrock Parade.
Fort Jackson Commanding General Brig. Gen. Jason E. Kelly will serve as Grand Marshall. Which will also feature musical performances from the U.S. Army Marching Band, Irish dancers, and floats.
Participants can visit www.blowfishbaseball.com to fill out an entry form.
The next Blowfish luncheon is scheduled for Feb. 14.