Weekend tournament kicks off American Legion schedule

Photo by John Millikan

Photo by John Millikan

Want To Go?

WHAT: American Legion Memorial Day Classic.

SCHEDULE: Today: Post 182 vs. Post 30 at 9:30 a.m., Post 30 Jr. vs. Wiregrass at noon, Post 182 vs. Vero Beach at 2:30 p.m., Post 30 vs. Wiregrass at 5 p.m., Post 30 Jr. vs. Vero Beach at 7:30 p.m. Sunday: Post 182 vs. Wiregrass at noon, Post 30 vs. Vero Beach at 2:30 p.m., Post 182 vs. Post 30 Jr. at 5 p.m., Post 30 vs. Post 30 Jr. at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Darton College.

ALBANY — American Legion Post 30 and 182 kick things off officially today with summer ball, but coaches say it will be weeks before games truly count.

With just a few practices under its belt and players still in the state playoffs, Post 30 Albany head coach Benni Waters said his team will be a work in progress for the weekend’s Post 182 Memorial Day Classic.

“Not long enough,” Waters said of the practice time thus far. “We’ve had about two or three practices. A lot of the kids on this team are still in the playoffs (or just finished).”

Post 30 will be without Westwood’s Mitch Good, whose team plays Crisp Academy in the GISA Class A state title series, and there are a slew of others who haven’t even had the leather smell wear off their hands yet.

Albany Post 30 will open play today at 9:30 a.m. against Leesburg Post 182 at Darton College. Five teams are entered in the round-robin tournament, including both Albany and Leesburg senior teams and the Albany Post 30 Jr. team, as well as the Wiregrass Cardinals and Vero Beach Post 39.

Games will continue on Sunday with the first pitch at 9:30 a.m. and final games beginning at 7:30 p.m. both today and Sunday.

Head coach Larry Cook’s Post 182 team is in the same boat as Post 30 with only a few practices in this week. The American Legion Leesburg Post team will feature players from more than eight area high schools including Deerfield Windsor (Austin Murphy, Davis Hines, Hunter Brettel), Worth County (Ryan Hickox, Corey Odom, Eli Reddell) and Baconton Charter (Brock Pinson, William Sullivan).

Other Leesburg team members are from Lee County High (Brent Kyzar, Robbie Feagins), Crisp Academy (Hunter Cook, Robbie Wright), Terrell Academy (Logan Duckworth), Miller County (Jake Warren) and Westover (Landon Brettel).

Albany Post 30 rosters players from Terrell Academy (Josh Brunswick, Caleb Waters, Kyle Stratton, Clint Smith, Josh Wardrip), Lee County (Matt Mears, Chad Moore, Austin Joiner, Bryce Moye, Jay Howell), Deerfield (Coleman Butler) Schley County (Justin Barnes) and Cairo (Jonathan Moore).

Andrew College freshman and former Lee County pitcher Tanner Stone will start the opener and be the workhorse on the mound.

“Tanner is our go-to stud,” Waters said. “He’s our hoss right now. He’s hitting his spots and throwing with velocity.”

Nearly every player on the Post 30 Sr. team was part of the junior team a year ago that advanced to the state title game, while a handful of players switched teams this season.

Albany Post 30’s junior team will also have standouts Kh’ron McClain from DWS and Westover’s Josh Black.