Mocksville bound!

Published 10:26 am Thursday, July 13, 2017

AHOSKIE – For the second time in four years, Ahoskie Post 102 has advanced to the North Carolina American Legion Baseball Tournament.

The Ahoskie Junior team qualified for the statewide event after finishing as the runners-up in Area 1.

Ahoskie sports a 12-11 overall record and will enter the state event as the number two seed from Area 1.

Ahoskie Post 102 will play Concord Post 51 in first round action at 4:30 p.m. on Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Mando Field, located at Rich Park in Mocksville. Post 51 is representing Area 3 as its top seed.

Ahoskie head coach David Ellis said, “Our goal since the first game of the year was to make the state tournament and we made that goal. We know every team in Mocksville will be good. If we continue to hit the ball well and get good pitching, I like our chances. I would like to thank Wayne Meeks and all the American Legion for their support this year.”

The Ahoskie Braves have 20 players. Ten players are from Hertford County. They are Tyrek Beverly, Edward Bradley, Parker Bradley, Javier Correa, Alden Lassiter, Evan Lassiter, Keyshawn Lassiter, Zackary Lassiter, Trevor Lee, and Trent Munford.

Seven players are from Gates County. They are Derious Boone, Sam Doughtie, Steven Futrell, Trent Hobbs, Hunter Mitchell, Jordan Robinson, and Travis Williams.

There is one player from Kipp Pride – Spencer Simonowich, and one player each from Northeast Academy – Ryan Rowe – and Bertie County – Ethan Hughson.

The assistant coaches are Chuck Munford, Bryan Merritt, and Daniel Merritt.

Other than Ahoskie and Concord, the state tournament features a half dozen other teams – Bear Grass, South Caldwell, Morehead City, Rutherford County, East Rowan and the host team, Mocksville.

The state tourney is a double elimination format. Multiple teams will play daily. Admission is $6 per day.

The site of the state tournament rotates every year between the four areas of the state. This year was Area 3’s turn, which features 22 teams Burlington to Albemarle.

History of American

Legion Baseball

American Legion Baseball is a national institution that still stands behind the traditional values upon which it was founded in 1925. It has thrived through wars, national tragedies, and times of despair. American Legion Baseball has taught hundreds of thousands of young Americans the importance of sportsmanship, good health and faithful citizenship. The program promotes equality, making teammates out of young athletes, regardless of race, income levels, or social standings.

American Legion Baseball has been and continues to be one of many stepping stones to adulthood for millions of young men. Many have gone on to serve the country or community, raise families, or compete at the highest level.

The league was first proposed at an American Legion state convention in Milbank, SD, when Sioux Falls attorney and Department Commander Frank G. McCormick invited his close friend, Maj. John L. Griffith to address the convention. Instead of a traditional speech, Griffith spoke about the positive impact athletics has on youth.

“The American Legion could well consider the advisability of assisting in the training of young Americans through athletic games,” Griffith stated during the convention. “Athletic competition teaches courage and respect for others, fostering their growth into active citizens.”

The convention agreed and passed a resolution urging the Legion to create an organized summer baseball league that started each June. National Commander James A. Drain backed the resolution, which passed that fall at the Legion’s national convention in Omaha, Neb. It read:

“RESOLVED: That the American Legion… inaugurate and conduct baseball leagues and tournaments for local championships. And that local champions determined by the competition be given the opportunity to compete in departmental, sectional and regional tournaments and that a junior world series championship baseball series be conducted at each national convention….”

The first program in the world to provide a national baseball tournament for teenagers, American Legion baseball was born.