I am writing this to inform all Columbia County residents of the worst injustice I have ever personally had the misfortune to witness.
My son played baseball this year for the Columbia County Recreation Department in the 11-12-year-old age group. There were 17 teams divided into four different divisions. Each player was required to attend a tryout, and all 17 coaches were given the opportunity to evaluate each player and a draft was held.
Each division played only teams within its own division, and at the end of the year there were four different all-star teams selected.
This is where the injustice comes in. All players on a certain travel baseball team were placed in one division.
For anyone who has not been involved in baseball lately, a travel baseball team is a hand-selected team that is assembled to play in tournaments throughout the area and state. This particular group of players has been playing tournaments together for the past several years. The other three teams had two weeks to practice.
The season was played out and at the end of the season all of these players were then reassembled to represent their division and our county as an all star team.
This was a setup from day one. You will never convince me that all of these other coaches were that poor judges of talent that not one of these players were selected outside of this division. This should be a slap in the face to all coaches in the other divisions.
Let me say here that I do not personally believe that any one player on the "selected" team is better or more talented than any one player on the other three all-star teams, but as a group that has been playing together for the past several years that is a definite advantage. When 11- and 12-year-old kids are talking amongst themselves about how unfair this situation is, I think something should be done.
As a parent, I view this as nothing but an organized means of cheating being promoted by all persons involved. An all-star team should be a representation of the youth talent within a specific league or age group, not a hand-picked team.
Someone(s) in the Columbia County Recreation Department is responsible for this and allowed it to happen. All coaches and recreation department employees involved in this scheme should be banned from any involvement in youth sports in this county. I feel they should be held accountable for this, and have to face all of the kids on these other teams, explain their actions and offer an apology.
I view this as an absolute embarrassment and injustice to the kids of Columbia County. I have absolutely no issues with these kids playing baseball in the recreation league, but there must be some rules governing how these travel baseball players are distributed throughout a specific league.
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