Carmi-White County Has A Young Varsity Baseball Team
Justin Simmons, head baseball coach for CWCHS, was the guest speaker at the Carmi Kiwanis March 28, 2019 meeting. Coach Simmons noted that this has been a slow start to the season, but each loss was close. This year’s team has 20 players on the roster, but only three with any varsity experience. CWCHS lost 7 seniors from last season. Of those 20 players, 3 are seniors and 1 is a junior; Cole Blazier (senior), Eric Williams (senior), Adam Phelps (senior) and Ethan Mahon (junior). Coach explained that this is the first year that Adam Phelps has ever played baseball, so everything is brand new to him. However, his first at bat resulted in a double with 2 runs batted in. The remainder of the team is made up of 10 sophomores and 6 freshmen. Coach Simmons said that he told the freshman that they were in a unique position, they may actually get an opportunity to play four years of varsity baseball at CWCHS. That just does not normally happen.
Coach Simmons also explained that the conference is going to be extremely competitive. Fairfield, which was the conference champion last year, only lost 1 player. Edwards County, which finished second last year, only lost 2 players. Johnson City, which tied with CWCHS last year, only lost 2 players. Harrisburg’s coach said he thought this may be one of his best teams he has ever coached. Hamilton County has started this season at 5-0. Eldorado is looking strong. Many have made the comment that this conference may be the most competitive in southern Illinois.
Coach Simmons is proud that CWCHS is the host for this year’s Regional playoffs. It will be the first time in over a decade that Carmi-White County has had the opportunity to host. Simmons also thanked Pat Stewart, Charles Rankin and Mayor Jeff Pollard for their help. He said it would be impossible to have the quality ballpark in Carmi without these men. He also thanked his volunteer coach John Choate for his help and JV coach Will Knight for his dedication.
To the fans of CWCHS, Coach Simmons said that even though the team is young and inexperienced, he guaranteed, “We will get better!”