When I last gave an update on former Greenbrier baseball star Rich Poythress’ minor league career with the AA Jackson Generals, he was on the injured list and his numbers were down.
Well, in this case, stats can lie.
Despite just a single homer and 18 RBI all season, Poythress is actually having a solid year.
Before going on the DL, and despite hitting only .265, he was leading the Seattle Mariner’s entire minor league organization in a key stat – quality at bats.
In a season where I, and many others, felt he needed to step it up, Poythress was getting a visit from Seattle’s general manager, who informed him that the organization was very impressed with his progress and that they had big plans for him.
It seems Poythress could be named to the team’s 40-man roster this season.
Area players make it to
The county’s football future looks very bright.
Interest in the sport has exploded in recent years as children of all ages play in the fall, winter, spring and summer.
A few weeks ago, organizers of the Columbia Area Youth Football Association, a spring league, contacted a man named Valister Wilson, who runs Futures Stars Team Georgia.
The nonprofit group puts on All-Star events for the best young football players in the state. It currently has three teams, for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.
The top players in each age group are chosen and split into North Georgia and South Georgia squads, with 45 players selected for each team.
The teams will square off in Atlanta on Saturday.
CAYFA members informed Wilson about their organization, how quickly it was growing and the talent level in the area.
They persuaded him to hold a recent tryout in Columbia County, with players fighting for a chance to play in this year’s Future Stars games.
Despite an early notice, area players obviously impressed the Future Stars organizers. Scott Patterson, a coach and long-time CAYFA supporter, was blown away by their performances.
“I thought we may have eight to 10 guys for all three teams,” Patterson said. “So I was pretty blown away when the rosters were published on their Web site.”
Sixteen players were picked for the eighth-grade team alone, including Patterson’s son, Nick, a rising freshman quarterback at Lakeside.
Eleven more players were chosen for the seventh-grade team, and five more made the cut on the sixth-grade squad.
That’s 32 players from our area who were selected to participate on Saturday.
This speaks volumes on the work of the Columbia County Recreation Department, CAYFA, and a lot of hard-working parents who have battled for years to raise the interest level of football in the area.
For more about Future Stars Team Georgia, visit www.futurestarsgame.com.