By Rob Patrick
The Bryant Black Sox Junior (17-and-under) American Legion team will open its 2011 season on[more] Saturday in a tournament at Bauxite in conjunction with the 29th annual Wally Hall Tournament of Champions.
The Sox, coached this season by Jimmy Parker and Jason Thompson, will play at 9 a.m., then again at 2 p.m., on Sunday. Parker coaches many of the players last year with the 15-year-old Babe Ruth All-Stars who played their way to the Babe Ruth World Series while Thompson, his brother-in-law, was coaching the 14-year-old team to the World Series for their age group.
Team members include Zach Cambron, Hayden Daniel, Josh Davis, Cody Gogus, Tyler Green, Blain Jackson, Daniel Richards, Tryce Schalchlin and Marcus Wilson. Ozzie Hurt, Hayden Lessenberry, Tyler Nelson and Josh Pultro will be playing some with the Junior team as well as the Senior team.
“We’re excited to get going and, hopefully, continue our Babe Ruth success throughout the Legion program,” Thompson said. “We look forward to the challenge and keeping up the tradition and history that Craig and Tic (Harrison) have put in front of us. Many thanks to (Senior Legion coach) Darren (Hurt) for giving us the opportunity to come on up this year.
“Jimmy and I, as long as we have known each other and coached together, we think the same way and know what the other is thinking during games,” he continued.
Regarding the team, Thompson said, “We have some good young arms that need some time on the mound. We look to use Tryce Schalchlin, Zach Cambron, Tyler Green, Marcus Wilson and Cody Gogus a lot on the mound as well as some others that will contribute there as well.
“We have some guys that can play a few different positions and, with the numbers lower than what we would like, that will be the case this year but we shouldn’t miss a beat with this group.”
Here is the tentative schedule for the 2011 season:
BRYANT BLACK SOX
JUNIOR AMERICAN LEGION
May 27-29 — Bauxite Tournament
May 31 — at Sheridan
June 1 — Benton
June 4-5 — Ozark Classic at Harrison
June 7 — Hot Springs
June 9 — Little Rock Continental Express
June 11 — Texarkana (2)
June 13 — Sheridan
June 14 — at Pine Bluff
June 16-19 — Sheridan Wood Bat Tournament
June 20 — Jonesboro (2)
June 23 — at Hot Springs
June 25 — at Texarkana
June 28 — Pine Bluff
June 29 — Little Rock Blue
June 30 — Lakeside
July 3-6 — District Tournament at Sheridan
July 8-11 — State Tournament, TBA