Connie Mack baseball wrapped up its summer schedule Wednesday and again offered a chance for local programs to give younger players more opportunities to work on their game.
Goose Creek Memorial, Sterling, Robert E. Lee, Barbers Hill and Crosby had teams involved in the league with each team playing a few games each week.
It was more about development than wins and losses for many of the coaches. Most of the teams are composed of incoming freshmen or sophomores.
DonnieRay Gregory, who coaches the Baytown Baseball Academy, helps out with the Rangers Connie Mack squad.
He said his team takes the top nine players and pits them against the opposition in their doubleheaders and then rotates in the remaining players for the nightcap.
His team managed to win one game during the season.
“I’ve seen a lot of effort,” Gregory said. “They are very coachable and they are going to improve because they have the right attitude. The kids are listening, working hard for you and giving everything they got.”
Connie Mack doesn’t allow for much if any practices according to Gregory and the athletes essentially just show up and play.
The experience playing for the school team during the summer definitely can push players onto the right track going forward.
“They will be in the programs in the high schools and they will improve immensely,” Gregory said. “This is the starting point. Now you have to go improve on that.”
Gregory also noted he feels Sterling High School head coach Adam Shibley will do a fine job getting the players ready for the next level.
As for Goose Creek, the team was mostly composed of sophomores-to-be.
“We did really good, we made a lot of good progress,” coach Steven Moseley said. “We came a long way from last year. They played a lot of teams with kids that were on a JV team. There was probably 90-95 percent improvement. Batting was on point when we needed it and fielding was a lot better.
“It looked like the kids did extra work outside of anything we did. We struggled on getting that third out every now and then, but most of the time things worked out.”
George Barrera led Barbers Hill’s Connie Mack team and they had about 40 players on the roster so they split the lot, having half play a JV schedule and a novice group of kids, all of which were incoming freshmen at the high school, form another team.
Barerra said the JV lost one game while the other group finished about .500 on the season.
“They were great kids and baseball is a skill set sport where some are going to be late bloomers,” Barrera said. “There is good baseball in Barbers Hill and you can see that the kids put a lot of time and effort and parents put time and effort and money into it. As a whole these kids, you can tell, spent a lot of time playing the game. You can tell by their mechanics.”