It's here. No matter what the weather says, baseball season officially begins Monday.
In the Georgia High School Association, this past week was designated as "conditioning week" for our local baseball teams. During the week, players and coaches are permitted to use bats, balls and gloves and come together as a "team." Although I'm not exactly sure what a bat and ball have to do with conditioning, there's not a coach in the county who's going to question it.
With conditioning week completed, "real" practice begins tomorrow. At Greenbrier High School, the first day of practice used to be tainted by a few very tired basketball players making the transition from the hardwood to the diamond.
The Wolfpack basketball season ended Wednesday, but an instant transition from basketball to baseball is anything but easy. Thanks to a difficult, and at times misunderstood, decision by a pair of Greenbrier athletes, they won't have to worry about making that transition this time.
This season, former basketball stars Rich Poythress and Chris Johnson opted out of their hardwood obligations with plans to concentrate on their blossoming baseball careers. I'm sure it wasn't an easy choice for the seniors, and the decision probably didn't sit well with some of their basketball teammates.
After watching from the sidelines at countless basketball games, however, their patience is about to pay off.
While the Greenbrier basketball team was putting together another winning season, Poythress and Johnson rested and prepared.
Instead, Poythress spent his time securing his baseball future. He signed a baseball scholarship with the University of Georgia this past fall. His absence on the basketball court was certainly missed this year, but it didn't keep the basketball team from enjoying some well-earned success. How much did it help Poythress and Johnson?
We'll find out. The season starts when the Wolfpack plays host to Harlem at 5 p.m. Feb. 27.
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