Greater Beckley Christian's new baseball program in full swing - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Greater Beckley Christian's new baseball program in full swing

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A clear sky, fresh cut grass, and new dirt set the stage for Greater Beckley Christian's first ever home baseball game with the school's first ever baseball team.

"We're excited about that. The boys are excited, they bought into it. I was expecting to have maybe 12 kids out the first year and we had 20 come out," said head coach Chris Walls.

Building the program first meant getting a field. Though it was ready to go on gameday, it took a lot of work.

Junior Cody Reedy explained, "they call it the dust bowl, and Coach Walls did a great job fixing it up and we're just ready to get the first game down on it."

While many high school baseball teams are rebuilding and replacing graduated seniors. Greater Beckley is starting from scratch. Some players on the team are learning how to play America's pastime for the very first time.

"They didn't know what a sacrifice fly was, or how to run the bases," said Walls.

Assistant coach Patrick McNeely added, "at first it was kind of tough, we had to start from t-ball level and had to graduate them to high school players."

While only some players have previous experience, every player has good work ethic and plays with heart. They've been taught the key to success.

"Just hustle really," said sophomore Jon Paul Kessinger, "it's really hard to teach skill right now but coaches always told us hustle is free."

Coaches and players agree, daily improvement is much more important than the wins and losses.

Though the Crusaders are still on the hunt for their first win, they don't get discouraged. But instead, towards the end goal, sectionals.

The coaches have patience and confidence in their team.

"They're a great bunch of kids and they do anything we ask them to do and go 100% so we're having fun with it," said Walls.

"I think if you look at us five years from now, we're going to be the people you don't want to play," McNeely added.

The Crusaders lost their home opener, but there will be plenty more games, because Greater Beckley Baseball has just begun.