Thursday, May 21, 2009

The boys (of summer) are back (almost)

It's almost time for the sights and sounds of summer in Wilson and that means the crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd and the booming voice of public-address announcer Alton Britt.

If you live less than a mile from Fleming Stadium, as I do, you can hear Alton's voice carrying through the thick, summer air as he announces the next batter for the Wilson Tobs.

That's right, the Tobs season is almost here. They begin next Wednesday on the road at Coastal Plain League rival Fayetteville then return home the next night for their Fleming Stadium opener against the Asheboro Copperheads.

Tobs manager Jeff Steele, however, might not be there by the first game. In real life, Steele is the pitching coach at Lubbock Christian University, which is playing in the NAIA World Series that runs from Friday to May 29.

But before the Tobs get going, the Wilson American Legion Post 13 team starts its season Monday night against Clayton Post 71 at Smithfield-Selma High School. Post 13 will play its home opener Friday, May 29, against Raleigh Post 1 in Fleming.

The original opener for Post 13 was to have been Friday in Fleming against Pitt County Post 39 but the high school playoffs have limited each team's ability to field a full roster.

Rusty Dail is back as Post 13's head coach while Parker Davis and Daniel Johnson return as assistant coaches.

Also pushing back their opener is the Post 13 junior team, which canceled two dates this week and will now launch its season Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Washington on the Fike High School diamond.

The junior Legion team has a new coaching staff as Jay Wheeler stepped down and former Greenfield School coach Robert Stokely stepped up. Stokely, now in private business, will have Jay Lamm helping him.

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