Last summer, the Post 42 legion squad returned with two junior legion teams, with the hopes of bringing back a senior legion team this summer.
That’s exactly what they were able to do, starting this summer with a senior and junior legion team made up of local baseball players. The senior team got their season started Tuesday night with a walk-off win over High Point, a strong start for a group of players who have only been together for a couple of weeks.
“This all happens quick,” said Post 42 Senior Legion Head Coach Greg Hylton. “The first practice, it was so-so. The second, third, and fourth practice I could see the talent level we had.”
The senior legion team is comprised of current and former players from Bassett, Carlisle, Magna Vista High Schools and Rockingham County. Hylton said his team has a pretty good mix of rising juniors and seniors in high school as well as a few who just finished their first years of college.
Hylton likes having a few players with a year of college baseball under their belts as it gives the younger kids still in high school a sounding board to ask questions and learn what it takes to become college players themselves.
“Your older kids, they have now experienced one year into college, so they can bring that back to the kids who hope to go to college,” Hylton said. “They can see what level the college player is and aspire to get to that level.”
Christian Easley played last season at Patrick Henry Community College after graduating from Bassett, and said is looking forward to helping some of the younger players and giving them that viewpoint he gained while at PHCC.
“I definitely want to show them because when you play college baseball you see a whole different perspective,” Easley said.
Carlisle graduate Tyler Nuckols is planning to play baseball at Averett University next season, and he just hopes to build on his strong senior season and carry that into the summer. Hylton hopes the whole team has that same mindset as well.
“I’m excited. I just want to keep rolling through,” Nuckols said. “I had a pretty good year this spring and I just want to keep it going through the summer and keep having fun.”
“We’ve got some kids that were very successful in high school and we hope that will go into the summer,” Hylton said.
With a team of players from all over the area, it can take some time to get comfortable with each other. That doesn’t seem to be the case with this Post 42 squad. Even with players who haven’t spent a whole lot of time together, or they’ve spent time in high school being rivals, the players have already come together in a short amount of time.
“It’s been fine just rolling in like we’ve never left,” Nuckols said. “We’ve had a lot of fun already. It’s just a relaxed environment.”
In Easley’s case, he’s got some of his former Bassett teammates, but he’s also on the same field as some Magna Vista players, too.
“It’s definitely fun. I’m glad to be here,” he said. “We joke about it sometimes. It’s kind of fun having that rivalry… I’m happy we’re all reunited.”
As relaxed as it has been so far, and the fun they’ve had, the players are all here this summer with one goal in mind.
“Everybody here is definitely competitive,” Easley said. “We’re definitely here wanting to win.”
Hylton agreed, and thinks they’ll be able to get some victories because of the success the local high school teams had this season. Hylton gave a lot of credit to the coaches from the spring season for putting in a lot of good work to make his job that much easier with the players coming in with a head start.
“We’re just trying to continue on with that,” Hylton said. “We’re going to benefit on that time they’ve spent since February.”
Post 42 is set to play 14 more games between now and July 14 before the postseason begins on July 18. The coaches and players hope to still be playing for a summer championship come July 21.
Martinsville Post 42 Senior Legion schedule
Mon, Jun 10 • 7:00PM Virginia Marlins
Wed, Jun 12 • 7:00PM vs Virginia Marlins
Sat, Jun 15 • 6:00PM @ Big Island Post 217 at Liberty High
Tue, Jun 18 • 7:30PM vs Danville Post 325
Fri, Jun 21 • 7:30PM @ Rocky Mount Post 6 AT Benjamin Franklin Middle
Sun, Jun 23 • 6:00PM vs Big Island Post 217 Hooker Field
Wed, Jun 26 • 7:00PM @ Danville Post 325 AT American Legion Field (Danville)
Sat, Jun 29 • 7:00PM vs Lynchburg Post 16 Cardinals
Sat, Jul 06 • 5:00PM @ Christiansburg Post 59 AT Kiwanis Field (Salem)
Sat, Jul 06 • 7:00PM @ Christiansburg Post 59 AT Kiwanis Field (Salem)
Tue, Jul 09 • 7:30PM vs Rocky Mount Post 6
Wed, Jul 10 • 7:00PM vs Virginia Marlins
Sun, Jul 14 • 5:00PM vs Christiansburg Post 59
Sun, Jul 14 • 7:00PM vs Christiansburg Post 59
Thu, Jul 18 • 12:00PM @ TBD (TOURNAMENT)
Fri, Jul 19 • 12:00PM EDT @ TBD (TOURNAMENT)
Sat, Jul 20 • 12:00PM EDT @ Kiwanis (Salem) (TOURNAMENT)
Sun, Jul 21 • 12:00PM @ Kiwanis (Salem) (TOURNAMENT)