Say this about Social Circle baseball: the kids are resilient.
Consider, this year’s senior (that’s right singular) will have played for three different managers during the course of his prep career. For the lone junior, it’s his second.
For the large group of sophomores, they are still under the guidance of the same coach but playing their first full season after last year was cut short due to the pandemic.
Somehow, despite the coaching turnover and disease disruptions, this cohort of athletes has managed to cobble together one of greatest stretches in school history.
If the Redskins managed to upset top-10-ranked Academy of Classical Education of Macon in a second-round best-of-three series this week, they will have made the third round of state three straight years (discounting last season of course).
Certainly, the boys have enjoyed some outstanding coaching during that stretch, including a former college coach and ex-professional player. Unfortunately, they’ve had too many of them.
Seeing a new face in dugout every spring can take a toll. It’s usually reflected in the results, which are often not good when a program’s top spot becomes a revolving door.
To this point, the Redskins have made it work. Hopefully the new guy will stick around a while to provide some stability.
If Social Circle can make it within six wins of a state title under the upheaval of three new managers and a pandemic, imagine what they might do with the same guy running the show for several years in a row.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Kevin Dawkins looks like he might hang out while. And why not? He appears to have the table set nicely for a continued run.
With a team of almost exclusively freshmen and sophomores, the Redskins are still winning. They were at 17 and counting heading into this week’s play, matching their total from two years ago.
While it’s not unusual nowadays for young players to perform at a high level, given the explosion in off-season leagues and personal trainers, they often start showing their youth when the pressure heats up during the postseason.
On the road in round one, the Redskins kept their heads about them and emerged with a sweep.
Clearly, the level of competition is being raised considerably in round two. And it will require Social Circle pitchers to throw the games of their lives, the hitters to go crazy, and a few lucky bounces mixed in to get keep the season going.
But if nothing else, these Redskins have proven that no challenge or adversity is too big to overcome.