Youth the big story in 2009 baseball season
Published 12:51 am Sunday, May 24, 2009
With today’s announcement of the All-Metro baseball team and Coach and Player of the Year, the 2009 high school baseball season in the Miss-Lou officially comes to a close.
It was a bit of a different type of season for most area teams.
Because high schools are constantly rotating players through on a four-year basis, there will be some years where certain classes are smaller or larger than others.
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And for that reason, the big theme for many area baseball teams this season was youth.
Several teams, including Trinity Episcopal, Adams County Christian and Vidalia, had teams that were full of underclassmen.
The youth showed, as none of the area teams made it past the second round of the state baseball playoffs.
The teams that advanced the farthest were Cathedral, Trinity and Vidalia, who were all knocked out in the second round.
No other team made it past the first round in the playoffs.
But while the season wasn’t as successful for teams as they would have liked, it was enjoyable to watch in another way.
This was the year where people got to see the young players grow up and improve game by game.
Vidalia is a prime example of that.
The Vikings started the season off very slowly. They dropped four of their first six games, including hosting a tournament where they were blown away two games in a row.
Vidalia looked dead in the water, and still had a losing record over two-thirds of a way through the year.
But then, something clicked. The young talent started to gel together and the Vikings went on a run. They won five games in a row to get into the playoffs and then pulled a major upset in the opening round against Iowa.
Look for Vidalia to be strong next season as they bring almost everybody back.
Trinity is another team that should compete for a title next season. The Saints are dropping down into Class A and have a new coach that has experience winning state championships in Mitch Ashmore.
Most importantly, they bring back a bunch of young talent from a team that made the second round of the playoffs in Class AA this season.
Pitching was a problem for Trinity this season, but look for that to be improved as everybody is a year older and wiser.
ACCS also brings back most of its team. The defending District 3-AA champion was put out in the first round of the playoffs, but should be right back in the mix next year with a core group of players returning.
Even Cathedral loses just three seniors from this year’s team that went through the regular season undefeated.
True, one of them is All-Metro Player of the Year Preston Edwards, but there is always plenty of baseball talent at Cathedral to fill the void.
So what does it all mean? It means that you might want to get to the games early next season.
Because with all the talent coming back, we’re bound to have several teams competing for championships.
And I know you wouldn’t want to miss that.
Jeff Edwards is the sports editor for The Democrat. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.