Baseball is king in Columbia County - except at Augusta Prep.
The small private school is known for its soccer success. In recent years, volleyball and basketball have also become popular. The golf and tennis teams won state championships last season.
Then there's baseball.
"Baseball's been a joke at Prep in past years," senior Spencer Morgan said. "That's definitely changed. There's competition on who's going to get playing time this year."
Although the Augusta Prep baseball team, which finished 7-11 last season, has yet to establish a strong program, second-year head coach Dan King and assistant coach Tyler Bromley are working to change that.
"We're a team trying to create a momentum to build a program," King said. "We've got all the things we need. Now we just need young athletes eager to play baseball. My job is to keep them eager."
That task won't be easy. King's comments came at a practice in which only five boys showed up. King said more than 75 percent of the baseball team is still playing basketball.
It's not all bad news for a young Cavaliers program. By the time basketball season ends, King said, he'll have a record nine seniors on the team.
It's a milestone that past Augusta Prep baseball coaches could only dream of, and there's more to it than just the numbers.
"The thing that I am proudest of is five of these seniors have played since their freshman year," King said. "Those guys are my foundation."
Along with Morgan, who set several school records last season, the Cavaliers will return seniors Brad King, Chris Burch, Matt Catchpole and Davidson Lynn.
Together, those seniors hope to lead the program to bigger and better things. For now, King said, his team has something else to brag about.
"I've played on very good teams, and we talk about stats and championships," he said. "Our story is one of just sticking with it."
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