Tuesday, June 24, 2014
The middle schools in Edgefield County do not have baseball teams.
A group of parents at Merriwether Middle School is hoping to change that.
“Six months ago I went to school board and got a positive response on forming a team,” said Joel Jolly, a baseball parent. “We need middle school ball in Edgefield County like they have it in Georgia. I just wanted to bring it to the attention of the school board; I know they have a lot on their plate.”
Jolly formed a website to get input from parents on forming a team. The site has more than 460 hits and 59 responses from parents, with 48 names of potential players.
“We’ve had a good response on the website,” Jolly said. “There are probably 15 (middle school) teams across the river. It’s no big deal for them. We want to bring it to our two middle schools.”
According to Jolly, the parents of Merriwether Middle’s potential baseball team are willing to undertake most of the work with the team.
“We’re used to shelling out money for uniforms and travel to get to games,” he said. “We can find a coach and a field to play on. We just want to have our kids playing for the school.”
Part of the issue with the lack of middle school baseball is having younger players on the varsity squad. The middle school players who make the team rarely see the field because they aren’t physically ready to play at that level. Middle school baseball would allow the younger athletes to compete against their peers to prepare for high school competition.
“We don’t expect it to be pretty, but we have some good ball players,” Jolly said. “We would be able to compete with teams from Aiken County and across the river. If we get this going, it could be a feeder program for the varsity teams, too.”
T.J. Lundeen is a reporter for The North Augusta Star. Follow him on Twitter @lundeentj for more updates.