- Last Updated on 03:29 PM 03/06/14
- BY Doug Ford
In some ways it’s a nice problem to have for a coach, having an abundance of talent to choose from in making a roster, but in another way it’s always a tough challenge.
Just ask Halifax County Middle School softball coach James Smith, who was faced with the challenge of selecting a roster of 16 players from 41 hopefuls who arrived for tryouts last Monday.
“It’s a tough challenge when you have 16 spots for 41 kids,” Smith said on Wednesday.
“We had nine spots open, and we kept 16.”
The defending Southside Middle School Conference Tournament champions return six players from last year’s unbeaten team, including eighth graders Aliyah Chandler, Tamiara Logan, Sara Moser, Sierra Nunn and Chinaiyah Owen, and seventh grader Katie Cole.
Newcomers include eighth graders Madison Gunn and Kayla Waller, seventh graders Savanna Cabaniss, Lauryn Chappell, Hallie Lawhorn, Kassidy Thompson, Jeri Tyler, Sydney Wilborn and Karina Velazquez, and sixth grader Dee Dee Jeffress.
Smith liked the mix of older and younger players and was equally pleased with the number of girls who came out.
“We had conditioning for a week and a half and then tryouts and after two days of tryouts we made a cut,” he explained.
“We had a team by Friday. I’m pleased with who came out.
“We had four girls in eighth grade go over and play on the jayvee team, but it didn’t hurt us that much.
“We would have liked to have them here, but what it did was open the door for some other girls here to make the team.”
Coaches scored each of the players trying out on different fundamentals, Smith said.
“We scored them on running, catching, hitting and throwing, from five down to zero, and if you get up into the three’s and four’s you usually make this team,” he explained.
“We have a good mix of older and younger girls, pitching is going to be good, and everything will be based on how we hit.
“I think our defense will be fine and our pitching will be fine.
“If we can get our sticks going, we’ll be a pretty good team.”