Spring is still three weeks away, but baseball season is here and is hitting Effingham County High School in a big way this weekend.
The Rebels are bringing in Luella, Statesboro, Starr’s Mill and Camden County for five games beginning Friday at 5 p.m.
“We feel like we’ve got four real good teams coming in here,” said Rebels coach Brett Griffin. “It’s good for the community and it’s good for our kids to see other good ball teams.”
Effingham and Starr’s Mill each will play three games. Camden is on the books for two games and Statesboro and Luella each have one contest. The only team Effingham is not scheduled to face is Region 3-AAAA foe Statesboro.
Camden went 29-8 last year and fell in the Class AAAAA semis to Cobb County power Walton. The Wildcats beat Luella (18-11 in 2007) in the first round of the state playoffs a year ago.
Starr’s Mill went 17-11 in 2007, falling to Jones County in the second round of the Class AAAA tournament.
“Coach (Jay) Lasley is always looking for good teams to play,” Griffin said of his colleague at Camden County. “Starr’s Mill and Luella were eager to come down.”
With a nonregion schedule that includes 2007 state playoff teams Coffee, Lowndes and Savannah Christian, and a Liberty County team that beat the Rebels a year ago, Griffin is beefing up the slate before the region games begin.
“In the last two years, we wanted to schedule teams we knew were going to be in the playoffs,” he said.
It’s also a chance to show off Rebel Field and the improvements there, including permanent seats behind home plate.
“You’ve got to give it to the board of education in seeing the need for both schools to have permanent seating,” Griffin said, “and not just for the players but for the people who come out and support Effingham County and South Effingham.”