SEC teams advance in postseason

Published 12:16 am Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Southeastern Conference can be proud that nine of its baseball teams were selected to play in this year’s NCAA baseball tournament.

Two of the SEC teams, LSU, which is probably the best team in the country right now, and Georgia advanced to super regionals.

While on SEC baseball, I note that the SEC presidents have approved a change allowing each school to award 14 scholarships for baseball instead of the current 11.7 scholarships.

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The chance of that change being approved by the entire NCAA is almost nil.

Northern schools were successful in getting the NCAA to move back baseball’s season starting date a couple of weeks in an effort to mitigate the Southern schools’ perceived advantage in games played.

It is a contradiction that Missouri, which must be considered a cold-weather school, was one of the undefeated teams in a regional, and could have moved on to play in one of the super regional contests.

The Clarion-Ledger Sunday published its annual All-State high school baseball team. As usual, no Miss Lou players were named to either the first or second teams.

The only so-called small school players on the squad were Caleb Reed from Bayou Academy and Corey Dickerson of Brookhaven Academy. Both of those players should be familiar to Trinity (and ACCS) fans.

Everybody else was from either a Class 5A or Class 4A school.

I find no fault with any of the players named to either the first or second All State teams, but only comment that the kids from the smaller schools get little recognition from ‘Mississippi’s Newspaper.’ Since I saw none of the Miss Lou teams play this season, my words come only from me and nowhere else.

High school baseball players now have more options for summer play than they have had the past few years. Years ago, boys could play Dixie Youth Seniors Baseball through the age of 15, as I remember.

Before that, the American Legion sponsored teams for high school (and older) players in many communities. Recently, high school rules have been relaxed to allow high school players and teams to play many games during the summer.

That is important for the small schools, where other sports take the same kids away from fall baseball programs and for the players at the larger schools who play only baseball.

Though the schools may not directly sponsor those summer programs, and many teams consist of players from more than one school, the summer experience is beneficial to all of those kids.

And, That’s Official.

Al Graning can be reached by e-mail at