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Post 57 team brings five schools together

A lot of baseball players from a lot of different schools are combining, hopefully within the next week or so, to form the Suffolk Post 57 senior American Legion team this summer.

Led by Nansemond-Suffolk’s head varsity coach Michael Curry, the team’s tryouts brought out 33 kids. The 21 still on the Post 57 roster come from NSA, Lakeland, King’s Fork, First Baptist and Peninsula Catholic.

It’s being done for a practical reason, being that NSA’s baseball field doesn’t have lights, but it’s perhaps a little symbolic that Post 57 has two home fields this season. NSA will host the day games, basically the weekend games. King’s Fork will host night games, usually the weeknight games starting at 7 p.m.

Post 57 starts up on Saturday, June 5 and will get the feel of a true college- or pro-level squad right off the bat. Post 57’s schedule has games set for June 5, 6, 7 and 8.

“The primary mission is to have these guys keep developing from what they’ve done during the spring on their varsity squads,” said Curry, “and to keep these guys together and playing as much as possible.”

Post 57 will take part in an American Legion showcase at Hampton’s War Memorial Stadium on June 25-26. The team’s also gotten an invite to play in a tournament at William and Mary July 8-10. The event in Williamsburg will draw teams from Virginia and out of state. There will be college and pro scouts on hand.

“This is also about showcasing these guys for the next level,” Curry said.

Curry’s roster ranges from upcoming high school freshman to players who will be college freshmen next year. The senior division of American Legion includes players up to 19 years old.

The scouting part of the season is important even to younger players who think college recruiting is something for a year or two down the line.

“This can give them exposure, which is always good, and it can show them what to expect in the next couple years,” Curry said.

Post 57 is in a Legion district made up largely of Peninsula teams. Teams from Menchville, Gloucester and Poquoson, comprised largely of players from those highly-ranked high school programs, are on Post 57’s schedule.

“Just taking on the challenge, whenever it’s possible to play up versus tougher competition, it’s good experience for these players,” Curry said.

Along with all of the competition, showcases and scouting on the field, Curry hopes there’s one more effect to come out of this team of Saints, Cavaliers, Bulldogs, Crusaders and Knights.

Traditionally, especially during the school year and official varsity sports, there has been no link at all between Nansemond-Suffolk and Suffolk’s public schools.

“For NSA to host this type of team, to have this type of association, with the public schools in Suffolk, hopefully this will lead to more opportunities like this,” Curry said.

Most of the kids on the team have played with and/or against each other in all sorts of leagues anyway.

“All of these kids are really good kids. It’s a great group of guys. Most of them know each other already,” Curry said.