There was heavy rain falling in our area on Tuesday evening but that did not stop the American Legion baseball playoffs from continuing with round two, Tuesday, at Eastern Randolph.
ER’s Post 81 squad was hosting West Forsyth at the Grady Lawson Field and when you are dealing with Grady Lawson and there is a threat of rain, chances are, you will shoot down that so-called threat and you will play ball. Nine-and-a-half times out of ten there’s no stopping anything Grady Lawson is involved with. Here’s a man who’s been on the Randolph County Board of Education for 40 years. Here’s a guy who is running Junior and Senior Legion programs where uniform costs have soared to $10,000 dollars. Cap costs are at $600.00. Gas costs for travel are approaching $2,000.00 per month and that doesn’t include the cost of leasing the vans or even figure in the umpire fees.
Bottom line is, if you have Grady Lawson, then you will have Legion Baseball. Last night with Southeast Guilford’s Jeff Medley at third and the SEG Falcons’ Josh Tobias at shortstop, Eastern Randolph defeated West Forsyth 12-2 in seven innings. Ten-run rule in effect after seven innings instead of five, Legion ball plays nine inning games. This is a best-of-five games series with ER and WF and West won game one back on Monday in Clemmons, 11-7.
Action resumes tonight with game three on the line back at West Forsyth in Clemmons. This series is tied at one-a-piece and there were several upsets in round one of the playoffs, with High Point beating Kernersville and Winston-Salem topping Asheboro. Asheboro was seeded number two right behind top seed Burlington-Graham and K’ville was right up there with them at the top.
Medley and Tobias have been a big help to Coach Morgan Frazier’s ER Post 81 team this season. Tobias made the All-Star team and played at shortstop along with former Southeast Guilford teammate Cam Cockman from the Asheboro Post 45 squad. Cockman and Austin Moyer have been a major part of the success that Asheboro has experienced this season. Medley could have been with the Legion All-Stars but he had prior travel commitments. Grady Lawson said that Medley has one of the best arms going from third to first that he has ever seen and he says the sky is the limit for Tobias.
And back to this thing about Legion ball. Charlie Pannell, long-time Pleasant Garden community baseball promoter, says he wants to see Southeast Guilford get a Junior Legion team in place as early as next season(2009). Pannell says it’s time to play real baseball and he feels that the local Colt baseball programs are playing the same people they did in high school, middle school and little league and that the kids are not getting any better playing Colt baseball.
Pannell proposes that he can get a Junior Legion team started at Southeast and then he can pull players in from anywhere in Guilford County. Once Pannell gets this Junior Legion team off of the ground he plans to add a Senior Legion team at Southeast Guilford and and then he will eventually have to follow district boundaries more closely and he will only be able to pull in players from Southeast and other area schools and he will not have the luxury of drawing in players from all over Guilford County. High Point already has a Legion team and they bring in some players from Southwest Guilford.
The Pannell Plan will add on more Guilford County Legion teams and if Charlie Pannell can get the support, he would like to get rid of and totally eliminate Colt Baseball and the Triad Amateur Baseball group formerly known as Palomino Baseball. The Pannell Plan calls for Junior Legion and Senior Legion baseball in Guilford County and no Colt or Triad Amateur Baseball. Charlie Pannell has a dream and that dream calls for the return of what he calls, “Real Baseball”, and that being “Legion Baseball” baseball only to GUILFORD COUNTY. If Charlie Pannell has his way and he is able to pull off the Pannell Plan, then boys ages 14-20 would be playing the only brand of Baseball that the Pannell Plan calls for, “Legion Baseball”.
The Pannell Plan is very ambitious but that will not stop Charlie Pannell from talking continuously about his Baseball Model for GUILFORD COUNTY. It will be very interesting to see if the Pannell Plan can be put in place and if Southeast Guilford has that Junior Legion team up and going in 2009.
Will Legion Ball return to Guilford County other than what we are already seeing in High Point, and will all of the baseball fans, players, and parents embrace Charlie Pannell and give him a big ‘ole hug and thank him for his efforts?
In a footnote, while I was talking to Grady Lawson last night and with Grady being on the Ranolph County Board of Education for 40 years he was telling us about the new school coming to Randolph County this fall.
The new school will be called Providence Grove and the starting quarterback for Eastern Randolph’s football team has already transferred to the Providence Grove school and the head basketball coach at Eastern Randolph has resigned because of the so-called recruiting that has begun even before the first day of school at the new Providence Grove. ER basketball players are said to be lining up wanting to go the new school as well.