Highland Baseball Players Headed To State Tournament
If you’re a sports fan, you may want to remember these names:
“Eli Gabriel Moore”
“Zachary Cole Armstrong”
“Wyatt Auncy Clevinger”
“Tristan Thomas Carpenter”
You may be seeing and hearing from these young men in the future, on tv, radio and bubblegum cards. In fact, you may want to go ahead and get their autographs, because they are already All-Stars. These gentleman are members of the Highland Braves baseball team, which competed well enough to win their league’s regular season and placed second in its tournament. These particular players were chosen to compete on the West Augusta All-Stars team. Mr. Moore and Mr. Armstrong informed me about the total number of players and where the others hail from.
“Churchville and Craigsville.”
Mr. Carpenter related the team’s accomplishments.
“Well, we get to go to State, because we won the All Stars District, and we’re the District Champions.”
Coach Cole Armstrong of Highland explained more about the Braves origins, and details of the tournament, which includes teams from much larger areas, such as Manassas, Williamsburg and Glen Allen.
“We Didn’t have any baseball here for a long time, and Sue Cornelius and Bobby Cornelius and J.D. and Kim Hiner kind of got this baseball going for their kids, and it’s just progressed since then.
“We had two teams, two Highland Braves teams, and they competed against the Churchville teams, Craigsville teams, just letting the young men have an opportunity to play baseball – they played at least once a week, sometimes twice a week.
“They picked some All Stars off of our team, to play on the All Star team, it’s called the West Augusta All Stars. We went to Shenandoah County, and that’s where the district tournament was. We won the district tournament, and now we’re going to the state tournament that’s in New Kent, VA, and that is this Thursday. There’s eight teams that are left in the state – there’s eight regions, and they put a tournament on, and whoever comes out of that is the state champ.”
Mr. Armstrong explained the rules, which differ slightly because of the age of the players.
“Our team is 8-U, 8 and under, and we are the Cal Ripken Babe Ruth League, and it’s got a pitching machine. We have a pitcher, but he doesn’t pitch the ball. And in the regular season, we just went an hour and a half – now everything is six innings – you go six innings, and whoever comes out the winner.”
Coaching can be time consuming and difficult, but the end rewards are worth it.
“I just get so involved – I don’t know how I get any work done, because that’s all I’m thinking about, is coaching baseball, and how to help them, help the boys do better, so the team does better. And I enjoy the kids – have a lot of fun – there’s a lot of good young boys in the county that love baseball.
“We did very well this year – the boys really came out and worked hard. We practiced a lot, and it payed off for them.”
You might want to start saving up to buy those bubblegum cards now.