West Point chases state title
Published 1:39 am Sunday, July 14, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
If the plan comes together, the West Point all-stars will be celebrating a state championship next week.
West Point is hosting the six-team Junior League state tournament that begins on Saturday and goes through Thursday.
The state winner advances to the Southeast regional, which is one step away from the Junior League World Series in Michigan.
There were four Junior League teams competing in West Point during the regular season, and 12 of those players were selected to be a part of the all-star team.
Ernest Ward, the head coach of the West Point team, believes this squad’s versatility is one of its strengths.
“I’ve coached recreation baseball for years. I’ve coached it in LaGrange, and now I’m coaching in West Point. And I coached high-school baseball, and I played college ball,” Ward said. “For me, I think this is one of the most skilled teams that I’ve ever coached. What I mean by that is, there are 12 players on the team, and of those 12 players, nine of them have the ability to play every position on the field. These guys have experience at catching, pitching, and playing all the positions on the field. That’s unheard of.”
Ward added that “most of them have the ability to play high-school ball if they desire to.”
The players who don’t go on to play in high school can still satisfy the competitive itch in the West Point recreation league.
“This provides an opportunity for kids who may not make it on the high-school team an opportunity to continue to play,” Ward said. “And West Point has it all the way up to 18-and-under. So that’s powerful.”
The double-elimination tournament gets underway today with a pair of games.
Elbert County and Cartersville will play at 10 a.m., and Northern and Hobgood will meet at 1 p.m.
On Sunday at 11 a.m., West Point will play the winner of the game between Elbert County and Cartersville.
Athens will play the winner between Northern and Hobgood on Sunday at 2 p.m.
If West Point wins its games on Sunday, it will play again on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
If West Point loses its Sunday game, it will play an elimination game on Monday at 8:30 p.m.
The tournament goes through Thursday when a champion will be crowned.
10 a.m. – Elbert County vs. Cartersville
1 p.m. – Northern vs. Hobgood
11 a.m. – West Point vs. Elbert County/Cartersville winner
2 p.m. – Athens vs. Northern/Hobgood winner
6 p.m. – Game one loser vs. Game four loser
8:30 p.m. – Game two loser vs. Game three loser
6 p.m. – Game three winner vs. Game four winner
8:30 p.m. – Game five winner vs. Game six winner
6:30 p.m. – Game seven loser vs. Game eight winner
6 p.m. – Championship game
8:30 p.m. – If necessary