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For sports, spring as sprung

Spring has sprung for Halifax County High School’s spring sports teams. Working around soggy fields, practice and tryouts for Halifax County High School’s spring sports teams got under way Tuesday, with coaches seeing good numbers of athletes vying for roster spots.

Halifax County High School Head Varsity Baseball Coach Kelvin Davis, whose Comets team of last season played its way into the state quarterfinals, had 23 players on the diamond on opening day Tuesday.

Comets junior varsity coach Robert Carter had 27 players to come out on opening day.

“I’m pleased with the numbers,” Davis said Wednesday.

“It’s what we expected to see.”

A good number of players from last year’s team and a number of other talented players, some coming up from last year’s junior varsity team, were on hand trying to earn spots on the team.

“We have a lot of question marks right now,” Davis said, noting that he had vacancies at certain positions that he was looking to fill.

The big thing, Davis said, is that he wants to make sure that everyone trying out for the team gets a good look before final cuts are made.

“We’re not going to make quick cuts,” Davis pointed out.

“There are a lot of things we have to look at. We gave the guys an opportunity to tell us what position they want to play and try out for. The big thing we’re trying to do is make sure that we give everybody a fair shot.”

Davis and the baseball team have been sharing the school bus parking lot with the Comets head coach girls softball coach Melanie Saunders and the two softball teams this week as both the baseball and softball fields were soggy with standing water from this week’s snow and rain.

Saunders, who guided last year’s team into the state quarterfinals, said a total of 29 girls came out for both the varsity and jayvee teams.

Saunders was pleased more with the quality of the players trying out than with the quantity.

“When you get to this point, a lot of kids know if they can play at this level or not,” Saunders said.

“What we have are the kids who want to be out there and want to work hard for themselves and for the team.”

With wet field conditions keeping teams off the fields, Saunders and her coaches have been conducting fielding and hitting drills on the bus parking lot and in the high school gym.

“We can’t get on the field, so we’re trying to look at arms and swings on the blacktop and in the gym,” explained Saunders.

“We’re trying to be as versatile as we can and move people around as much as we can, but it’s hard when you can’t get out there on the dirt and grass.

“It’s hard to cut someone or have someone make the team if you haven’t seen them on a softball field,” added Saunders.

“For the most part everybody is working hard, and we’re eager to get out there on the field and see what these kids can do.”


Girl’s soccer

Halifax County High School Head Varsity Girls Soccer Coach Sid Young said he was pleased with the good number (38) of girls trying out for a spot on the jayvee and varsity teams.

Four seniors, 11 juniors, nine sophomores, four freshmen and 10 eighth-graders are trying out, according to Young.

“We had a few who came to conditioning who didn’t come back and a few from last year’s (varsity) team who are not playing this year,” said Young.

“I see some talent out here.  It’s a matter of putting things together, working on basic skills and putting all that together to form a team.

“We plan to keep some of the younger ones who are showing some promise,” he added.

“That gives you something to build on.


Boys soccer

As far as boys soccer goes, Comets Head varsity Boys Soccer Coach Frank Shealy and Head Junior Varsity Coach Mario Sadler did not need cuts to settle their respective rosters.

In the case of both teams, there were some players that came out on opening day that did not return on Wednesday, and that was enough to settle the rosters for both teams.

Sadler had 21 players in the fold on Wednesday, with Shealy having 18 varsity players.

“We’ll probably keep the rest of them,” Shealy said.

“We always need people to come off of the bench to give some people a rest. We’ll make sure that everybody understands their role.”

Shealy said he had been concerned about the number of players coming out for the junior varsity and varsity teams. Fortunately, a good number of players was on hand for opening day.

“I was really concerned about numbers before we started,” Shealy said.

“It wasn’t the varsity numbers that really impressed me. It was the junior varsity. It was good to see the numbers among the junior varsity group. “Mario had 30 more trying out.”

Shealy said he likes the talent level of the varsity team.

“I have more than 11 people that can handle the ball,” Shealy pointed out.

“Historically, I’ve struggled to get a full starting 11 in which everybody proficiently could handle the ball. This year. I’ve got that.”

Shealy noted that his team will be a young team, with only five seniors on board.

“The tenth-graders are probably the predominant group I have,” he said.

“But, they’re a talented group. I’m looking forward to getting the season started. We have scrimmages in two weeks.”