A type of event that is been long overdue in our area is now a reality.
On July 30 at Lake Olmstead Stadium, the top rising seniors will have a chance to showcase their baseball talents at the inaugural CSRA Prospects Showcase. I am helping put on this event and think it is a terrific chance for athletes to play against the best of the best from the area.
The event will feature 15-18 of the top area players from Georgia against 15-18 of the top area players from the South Carolina side of the Savannah River.
The event will feature a home-run derby and a nine-inning All-Star game. This event will give the players a chance to play in a great ballpark, in front of a large crowd and a large number of college scouts. The event is being put on by Elite Sports Events, which it estimates that more than 100 colleges will be invited.
Columbia County features a couple of obvious choices for the game.
Greenbrier standout Rich Poythress and Evans star Shawn Ward will undoubtedly be invited to play. However, the selection process is far from over, and any area players who would like to participate can send their information to Elite Sports Events.
There has never been a game of this type in the area.
Georgia does have the North-South All-Star game, which is conducted by the Georgia Coaches Association and is sanctioned by the GHSA. That game, however, features only seniors, most of whom already have their college scholarship secured; in some cases, players can't play because they have already left for college or pro ball.
Therefore, to allow rising seniors a chance to participate in an event like this gives them a tremendous opportunity to show college scouts what they can do.
I help coordinate a basketball all-star game that is similar to this event. It has been a huge success. The crowds have been tremendous, and the players have really benefitted. Since the basketball game's inception, a minimum of two players per year have earned scholarships after coaches got a chance to see them in the practices and the game itself.
Hopefully this event will provide a similar opportunity for some area baseball players.
Certainly, players such as Poythress and Ward might not need help getting recognition, but plenty of Columbia County players will likely benefit.
Players from the following counties are eligible for the Georgia team: Columbia, Richmond, Burke, McDuffie, Jefferson and Washington. The South Carolina team will be comprised of players from the following counties: Aiken, Edgefield, Barnwell and McCormick.
Any players or coaches interested in nominating someone for the game can e-mail Elite Sports Events at elitesportsevents@comcast. net before July 1.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.