Here we are with another baseball season upon us, and it's once again time for Georgia to sit up and take notice of Columbia County. To keep our readers fully up-to-date on the county's favorite sport, we've produced the first Columbia County News-Times Baseball Preview section.
Much like our annual high school football section released in the fall, this baseball section has a pages designated for each team in the county. In these pages, you'll find schedules, players to watch, season previews Boys of Spring illustration highlighting the top 10 players in the county.
Before flipping to your team's page, check out the following key issues surrounding county baseball this season.
Two weeks notice
The Georgia High School Association didn't allow baseball practices until Feb. 12 but marked Monday as the first day of the regular season. That eliminated a full week of preseason practice time. Jimmie Lewis at Harlem called it "cheating the kids."
The reason? Twenty-one days of preseason practices meant at least seven days of tryouts, then two weeks of practice. Now, with only 14 days before the season begins, most kids trying out for the team had only two or three days to prove their worth. Hey, coaches, good luck evaluating freshman talent on six to nine hours of tryout time.
Who's on first?
J.C. Huffman moves from first to third, Kevin Millward goes from third to catcher, Josh Whitaker shifts from shortstop to first. You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around. That's what it's all about.
April 13. Mark it on your calendars. It's the only day this season that all six Columbia County teams will be in action. Evans plays host to the Academy of Richmond County, Augusta Christian Schools is at home against Ben Lippen, Harlem goes to Glenn Hills, Augusta Preparatory Day School plays at Westminster Schools of Augusta and Lakeside is at Greenbrier. The scary part ... it's Friday the 13th.
Good luck to the Bulldogs in the second full week of March. The Class AAA school will play in three consecutive road games against Evans, Lakeside and Greenbrier in a four-day span. At least they're not region games.
How cocky can we Columbia County baseball fans be? Go ahead and circle these dates on the calendar:
May 11-12: GISA Class AAA State Championship Series
May 16-17: SCISA Class AAA State Championship Series
June 1-2: GHSA Class AAAA and AAA State Championship Series
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