- Last Updated on Thursday, 13 May 2010 16:16
- Published on Thursday, 13 May 2010 16:16
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They were simply the best middle school baseball team in the Northern Neck District.
Although the playoffs at Lancaster Dreams Fields in Kilmarnock were canceled due to rain, the Virginia High School League has officially named the 2010 Colonial Beach Middle School baseball team as the Northern Neck District champions.
This unprecedented feat was the first time in school history that a Drifter middle school baseball team has captured the Northern Neck District championship.
Their undefeated 7-0 season will soon become a banner on the Drifterdome wall of champions.
Throughout the season, the Drifters dominated every team that crossed their path. In fact, Drifter starting pitching ace Nick Graves began the season with a no-hitter that featured 10 strikeouts.
Graves finished the season with 30 innings pitched, 49 strikeouts and a 4.20 ERA. Graves also helped his cause at the plate with a .385 batting average that included two homeruns, 10 hits, 13 runs, seven RBIs and 19 total bases. His slugging percentage was .731.
The power of slugger and first-baseman Dez’ John Parker has already opened the eyes of the Drifter coaching staff. Parker ripped opponents for 15 hits, that included four doubles, 15 RBIs, four over-the-fence homeruns, 11 runs and 31 total bases four slugging percentage of 1.148. Parker led the team with a .556 batting average.
Second baseman Kamron Smith also had a banner season with a nine hits that featured seven singles and two doubles. Smith’s batting average of .429, and slugging percentage of .524 will pay dividends for the Drifter baseball program next season.
Drifter Middle School baseball head coach Bill Wilson has high hopes that the Drifter baseball program will feature a junior varsity team.
“If the seventh graders on my team do not get the extra year on a junior varsity level, it could set them back a year or two,” Wilson said. “They need that good competition to wake them up a little.”
Academic-related issues prevented the Drifters from fielding a junior varsity team this season. Nineteen students tried out for the middle school team, but only 15 were chosen to make the team.
Even with an unblemished record, Wilson believes his team could have more improvements on offense.
“In the beginning, half the players on the team did not hit very well; however, toward the end the season, they made big improvements at the plate,” Wilson said.
With a middle school team filled to the brim with talent, Drifter varsity baseball fans could feel a welcome sigh of relief in the two years.
Like other Drifters teams that play together through Little League, recreation league and high school league sports, the formula for success is clear and simple — kids who grow together will someday win together.
“There is a lot of talent on this team,” Wilson said. “I told coach Swope (former Drifter baseball and basketball coach) that they better make room on the water tower for 2013 state baseball champions.”
Currently the water tower that stands in close proximity to the Colonial Beach Elementary School has the legacy of Swope’s 2009 basketball state championship embedded into it.
The Drifters middle school championship could be a sign of good things to come. For now they are a symbol of community and school pride. Stay tuned for the next generation of Drifter champions!
Leonard M. Banks