C Team replaces middle school baseball team
By Nick Nunn
In the spirit of “One Morgan,” the doctrine that is taking hold in the Morgan County school system, there will not be a Morgan County Middle School baseball team for 2013.
Taking its place will be a C team, which will be comprised solely of eighth and ninth graders, in addition to the standard varsity and junior varsity teams.
Although there are several individual reasons for the change, most of the results boil down to this factor: the C team will force sixth and seventh graders out of the middle school program and into travel and recreation teams.
Initially, parents may balk at the notion of having their young athletes’ participation refused because of their grade level, but the C team will create a change that will have a ripple effect, which will strengthen and create depth throughout Morgan County’s baseball program.
The first stage of development will occur in the players “left out” of a middle school team.
“Our younger kids will actually be playing more as many of them play travel ball and recreation ball and will be better served by getting game experience and then joining us in the eighth grade,” said MCHS varsity team head coach Brandon Patch.
By being forced into alternate teams, aspiring sixth and seventh grade baseball players will actually gain experience during those years instead of sitting on the bench while eighth graders are on the field.
Because of the changes caused by the C team, players with more experience in their younger years will eventually man the higher-level Morgan County teams, thus making the teams more competitive in the future.
The C team also reflects developments that have already occurred at larger schools
“Most of the bigger schools are moving towards a C team format versus a middle school program,” said Coach Patch, who also noted that, “[the C team] allows us to play a more competitive schedule against similar teams that we will play in 8AAA. Many of the teams are from the Athens or Conyers area.”
As the Morgan County baseball program develops in the coming seasons, changes in format, such as the creation of the C team, will continue to make the program more successful in the years to come.
Printed in the February 7, 2013 edition