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Good numbers greet ball tryouts at middle school

Halifax County Middle School baseball and softball coaches reported good turnouts at tryouts last week for a spot on their respective teams. Lions’ Head Baseball Coach Jody Nelson said about 60 hopefuls arrived the first day of tryouts to compete for a spot on his team.

“We had a solid group of players, especially the sixth-grade group,” explained Nelson.

“The weather has hampered us, delegating us to use of the outfield only for infield and outfield work.”

As of Thursday, the group of hopefuls was down to 22 players, with final cuts due the next day, according to Nelson, who hoped to hold his first practice as a team last Saturday.

Defense and pitching are the main points of focus on practice for the upcoming season, Nelson added.

“We are really looking forward to getting this group finalized and begin practice,” Nelson said.

Lions Head Softball Coach James Smith and his staff welcomed almost 50 girls to tryouts for a spot on his team.

Smith hoped to have a final roster ready last Friday morning.

“We had 46 girls come out, and that’s a good turnout,” said Smith.

“Tryouts have been pretty good with good weather, and it’ll be a tough cut,” added Smith.

“I’ll try to see if any of them can play more than one position, and that may be a determining factor,” he explained, mindful of the middle school rule where every player has to have at least one at-bat or one inning in the field during a game.

”The problem is I’m going to have to cut some good players, but overall I’m pleased with the turnout and what I’ve seen, because we lost all our outfielders,” Smith explained.

“We’re really pleased with the talent level, and that shows these girls have worked in the off-season.

“I have a lot of talent in all grade levels, and that will make it tough to select a team.

“I can only hope the girls who don’t make it this year will continue to work and come back next year if they’re eligible.”