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Post 182 begins steps to restart its team

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY -- Larry Cook is a big believer that American Legion summer baseball could be the key to a bright future for area Southwest Georgia players.

That's just one of the reasons why Cook decided to bring back the American Legion Post 182 team, which will hold its first official tryouts Thursday at Darton at 6:30 p.m., then again on Sunday (also at Darton) at 3 p.m.

"I think it's a great spot for a young player to hone their skills and get exposed to some higher level of competition," said Cook, a longtime American Legion coach who will lead 182 this season. "In a lot of instances, you're playing against teams from Alabama and North Georgia, and even against (traditional powerhouses Post 512 and Post 30) in Albany, and it forces you to step up your game. Not to mention, players get exposure to college scouts at these games."

Cook said he plans to pick around 16 guys out of the 20-to-30 he expects to try out. The only requirement is that players must be between the ages of 15 and 19, and live in Southwest Georgia.

"We get kids from as far away as Leary and as close as Terrell County," Cook said.

Post 182, which is based out of Leesburg, won the state championship two years, then was disbanded last season.

"We just wanted to start it over and bring the team back," Cook said.

The American Legion season begins May 28 and the team will play a 25-game regular season, plus a host of tournaments throughout the summer.