To cut or not to cut: That is the question many local coaches are facing this weekend as the traditional tryout period comes to a close.
Volleyball, softball, cross country and football teams started practicing Wednesday. Most coaches use the first three days to determine who will stay and who will go. So far, it's all about evaluation.
"I want to find out who's in shape and who's not," Evans first-year volleyball coach Lane Schuckers said. "I'd like to keep as many as I can."
That won't be an easy task at Greenbrier, where softball coach Garrett Black saw 40 girls show up for varsity and junior varsity tryouts. Ground ball drills in the infield spanned as many as six players deep at some positions.
With all the talent and a limited number of jerseys and spaces on the roster, a cut is sometimes inevitable. As hard as it is on a young athlete, it might be just as hard on a coach.
Some coaches just try to get over it as quickly as possible.
"My goal is to make all the cuts by Friday night," Evans softball coach Collette Cassedy said at the Lady Knights' first practice on Wednesday. "I hate it. Tryouts are exciting for the girls, but as a coach I don't like them. I didn't sleep at all last night."
As hard as it is, making cuts is just another part of the game. But if an athlete survives that part of the season, who knows what might happen.
"You never know," Schuckers said. "If you give a girl an opportunity to play, then they might develop and be really good." The regular season will begin on Aug. 13 for high school softball and volleyball teams. It's the same day school begins in Columbia County. It's also a day area coaches are looking forward to.
"I just want to get past it," Black said, "just get to Monday, and we'll start talking about our goals."
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