Well, I want to let you know my thoughts on a couple of things for this district.
I "got" the opportunity to drive 30 miles to watch 3 pitchers and two catchers I have watched during travel ball. I was extremely pumped to watch these five. The pitchers have curves, drops, change ups, and screw balls. So the pitchers duel was going to be amazing.
Oh, I traveled to Sparta to watch a scrimmage with Murfreesboro Central Magnet. Sparta has two college pitchers, one has already signed. Central has a pitcher with a great screw ball and will be a college pitcher. I ended up disgusted with high school coaching! Not Central Magnet, mind you, but Sparta. The head coach I think is the head basketball coach, and he was ok - he was engaged with his team and tried to get some things going, but the other coaches were knots on a log. The older one who called pitches just as well not been there, because his pitchers were: fastball inside, fastball outside - the whole game. Yes, these two very good pitchers pitched fastballs all night. AND, anybody can hit a fastball. So needless to say, fastballs and 14 errors later, Sparta got the crap beat out of them. Centrals pitcher has a great screwball and she did her job. So to put it honestly, Sparta is a AAA school with two college pitchers and Magnet is a AA School with a College pitcher, but, Magnet out coached, out hustled, and out played Sparta. Sparta was not in any way prepared to play and with their pitch calling, I am completely sure they will be pathetic during their AAA season.
The catcher who started is an amazing athlete and the coach had her in the right position. She has a monster arm. She has been the catcher for her pitcher for years. The second catcher who caught the pitcher who has already signed to play college ball, was a lazy, eye rolling, walk back to pick up a ball while runners were running the bases. She could not catch the pitches and seemed as if she didn't want to be there. She had no business in that position. The other catcher I came to see didn't even get the chance to catch, playing outfield and shortstop.
I don't know anything about the way the kids are practicing, but believe me, Sparta is not ready to compete in this District where there are some real good coaching from Cookeville and McMinnville especially.
Sparta is in trouble if they continue to NOT use these two pitchers - I have watched them game after game after game and their pitches are some of the top in the state, but this pitch caller has lowered them to "just ok pitchers". Pretty sad to see this.
Central Magnet hustled, were aggressive at the plate, ran the bases, and didn't have "an excuse" for things. They were above board on sportsmanship and they will have a hard time in their district, but, for sure, they will outplay some of those teams.
I walked away impressed with Central's Coaches and their style of play, which was a higher level of the game.
I waked away unimpressed with Sparta's coaches, which obviously came little league.