CORBIN BASEBALL IN GOOD HANDS
Future bright for Redhounds
With the hardball season over and the pigskin sport about to begin, I just want to tell you how much I enjoyed covering the Corbin baseball leagues from the Minor League to the Junior League to the Corbin Crushers.
Corbin baseball will be competitive for years to come because of the hard work of the coaches and players. I saw it in the Little League program. Jeff Chadwell and his coaches do an excellent job. It’s not about winning, it’s about teaching the game of baseball.
I got to see the Crushers more than anyone this summer and the progress they made was unbelievable. But, to see the hard work of C. E. Brittain and Gary Helton really tells you the whole story. The coaches and the families worked so well together and with texting coordinated by Tim Barnes it was easy to know what was going on 24-7 with this team.
This team started slow in some of the tournaments, but by the end of the season they won the Summer Classic in Knoxville and were well prepared for the Junior League All-Star Tournament.
North Laurel had owned this tournament for several years and Hazard ended up winning the Junior League, but Corbin was right there with them. They were able to mercy rule North Laurel, but lost to Hazard in the championship game.
They lost the way they won…with class. I never witnessed any of the players taunting or trying to distract the other team like some of the others. They just went out and played baseball.
I guess the biggest thing I saw in the dugout was how they hated to be taken out of a game. They didn’t want to be taken out, but who does. Corbin was the only team with more than 12 players during the tournaments. They kept their 14 players throughout the entire tournament.
If you know Little League rules, every player has to play in the game, so the fewer you have the better. Some teams have players that are not the quality of the starting nine, so they leave them off the team. If they play as a team during the summer or they play in a league then there has to be more than 10 or 11 players available.
That wasn’t the case for Corbin; every one of the players brought something good to the game, so it wasn’t a big deal to send the reserves into the game. However, at times it did break the momentum.
There should be a set number of players for an all-star team or you can’t play in the tournament. Why should one team have 14-15 players and get penalized?
In the end, it should payoff for the future of Corbin baseball. It should make all of those players better and experienced.
The parents should be proud of the fact that these players were so respectful. They got so used to me being in the dugout with them that they would save a spot for me to shoot my photos. Several times one would tell another to move over so I could take pictures.
I’ve covered a lot of sports and been around some top-notch players, but this was one of the classiest teams I have ever been around from the players to the parents.
Thanks for making my summer so enjoyable.
Football season is four weeks away. I get real excited this time of the year. For some reason football has become my favorite sport. It’s the only sport where I enjoy keeping up with high school, college and the pros.
Yes, I am a die-hard Louisville fan and hate losing to the Big Blue. And, I will concede the SEC is much tougher than the Big East, especially now that they have added Missouri and Texas A & M.
In the pros, I like Cincinnati and the New York Giants. I have been a Cincy fan since I was in junior high and we all had our pro football teams. I went to school with Phil Simms at Morehead State, so I became a Giants fan when he went to New York.
I think the area high school teams will be much better this season. Corbin will have a good mix of players from the senior class to the freshmen class. I am looking forward to seeing them jell as a unit.
If they all play has hard as Matt Jewell does, this team will be outstanding. He is always ready to step on the field and hit someone. I look for the Redhounds to go 9-1 or 8-2 during the regular season. Of course that depends on how the quarterback progresses.
Williamsburg is another young but yet experienced team. The Yellow Jackets could go 9-1 or 8-2 as well.
Harlan will be the first big test with the potent offense the Green Dragons have and Leslie County will be highly improved. The big district showdown will be Oct. 5 when Campbellsville comes to town. Three of the four key games will be played in Williamsburg,
Coach Jerry Herron told me the trip to Oneida, Tn., will be a tough one for his Jackets. He said they would be a top five team in their class this season. Williamsburg lost to Oneida last year at home, 45-22.
Whitley County finished last season 3-8, but I think the Colonels will have a solid team this fall. The Colonels play one of the toughest schedules in the state with the likes of Rockcastle County, Bell County, Boyle County, Somerset, Russell County along with district foes Harlan County, Perry Central and Letcher Central.
I believe the Colonels will improve on last season’s record with a 5-5 slate and second place finish in the district.
Lynn Camp will have the biggest hill to climb after going 0-11 last year. The Wildcats have a new coach in Phil Russell. There is a lot of excitement at Lynn Camp. I can see the Wildcats winning a couple of games this year to get back on track. East Ridge, Pineville and Berea should be winnable games this year. So, I am saying 3-7 during the regular season.
It all starts Friday, August 17 when Clark County comes to Corbin, Williamsburg goes to Jellico and Lynn Camp plays East Ridge in the Forcht Bank Pioneer Bowl.
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