Softball Middle School tryouts

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By R. Alan Richardson

sports editor

The Morgan County softball program continues to reload with the help of feeder programs like Morgan County Middle School and travel ball leagues.  Coach Kemp Crawford held his spring tryouts under the watchful eye of new high school Coach Jason McBay.  Crawford commented, “Jason was there and took the lead in tryouts which was great.  This is his team.  I’m his designated agent and am here to help him get ready for the high school season.  I want the middle school girls to know what the high school does to be prepared to perform when they move on.”

Tryouts lasted three days with a good turnout of 20 girls during the last week of school.  This year is most likely to be a rebuilding year for the middle school with seven starters moving on to the high school.  However, according to Crawford, the number of sixth graders was extremely pleasing to the coach.  He said, “It’s true that our program and travel ball teams have been fueling the success of our high school team.  Coach Connelly and I have worked closely over the years to coordinate the summer high school and travel schedules to not overburden the girls.”

Crawford is a full-time softball instructor with two daughters, Laney and Abigail, and is married to his wife Carol.  He runs his business out of his home and at the Bostwick Recreation Field.  “I started coaching softball when Laney was six.  I played first base and outfield at Athens Academy and realized that baseball was my sport of sports,” he said.  He is in his second year with the middle school and also coaches The Breakers, travel ball teams with 18 and under, 14 and under, and 12 and under squads.  The teams are almost totally made up of Morgan County natives.  He commented, “Almost every girl on Morgan County’s state runner-up team last year has worn a Breakers’ jersey at some point in their playing careers.”

The Coach wanted to mention some of his players saying, “We have some outstanding eighth graders that are ahead of the others in terms of softball ability.  Catcher Reign Williams and shortstop Karlie Lane will be our team leaders next year.  We will count on them to lead this team.  Pitchers Sarah Ellen Mercer as well as sixth graders Averi Camp and Kaitlyn Scott will control the circle for us next year.  We hope to mirror the high school team by being aggressive on the base paths and playing small ball when we need to with the suicide squeeze.”

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