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Rouch Column for Sunday, July 28, 2013

Posted: July 28, 2013 - 12:21am

Well, hard as it is for me to believe, here we are with our back-to-school issue.

The summer seemed to just fly by, and I’m still trying to get adjusted to the Southern schedule. I’m not going back to school and I don’t have children, but it still marks the end of my summer.

Coming from a little bit farther north, school didn’t let out until the middle of June and our summer ran until the Tuesday after Labor Day.

While athletes from different schools will still remain friends – I hope – the kumbaya feeling that the summer engenders – especially with swim teams, travel teams and amateur athletic union (AAU) teams – will fall by the wayside as school spirit jumps to the forefront once more.

Baseball season will be a prime example. When the spring rolls around, players will vie for titles for their respective schools. On July 19, however, a group of 13 players from Evans, Greenbrier, Grovetown, Harlem and Lakeside High schools came together to win the Continental Amateur Baseball Association (C.A.B.A) national championship.

Joined with 11 other players outside the county and the state, Coach Roger Wilkinson’s Baseball Scoutz played through June and July, posting a 23-3 record in mainly wooden-bat tournaments. They got an at-large bid to the tournament in Charleston, S.C., and went 8-0 in the C.A.B.A World Series. They defeated West End Baseball (Greenville, S.C.) 3-1 in the championship game.

Evans’ Matt Anderson – yes Matt, not Kyle – picked up the win, pitching five innings while allowing just four hits.

Another team that will be done before school begins is the Martinez Evans Little League 10-11 All-Stars. They started play in the Southeast Regional – the final tournament in that age group – on Saturday. They have a strong team and hopefully they will bring home the championship on Wednesday.

Teams that did well but are now done are the MELL junior team, which lost in the championship game of the state tournament, and the Columbia County baseball 9-10 Dixie All-Stars, who also finished as runners-up in their state tournament.

Hopefully, some teams we’ve reported on before won’t be finished by the time school starts.

The MELL senior team begins Southeast Regional play in Debary, Fla., Friday. If it wins its tournament Aug. 5, it goes to the World Series.

The Petersburg Racquet Club competed in the 2013 USTA Junior Team Tennis state tournament Friday with a chance to advance to the Southeast Regional Aug. 16-18 and nationals in late October. They were top eight in 2012 at the national tournament and have a good shot at making a repeat appearance.

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