In Tony Kirkland’s estimation, the ranking his South Effingham Mustangs baseball team holds isn’t a reflection of the way it’s played so far this season.
The Mustangs (8-4) are ranked No. 1 among Class AAA teams in the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association poll, supplanting Columbus atop the rankings.
“We don’t deserve that ranking,” Kirkland said as his JV team went through a workout Monday afternoon. “We’re not that caliber yet. Hopefully, we’ll be that at the end of the season.”
Of the Mustangs’ four losses, three have come to Class AAAA schools — top-ranked and two-time defending state champ Greenbrier, Statesboro and in-county rival Effingham County. Their other loss came at the hands of defending Class A state champion Calvary Day School.
South Effingham turned the tables on Statesboro, beating the Blue Devils 8-3 two weeks ago to split the season series.
While Kirkland doesn’t think his team is worthy of such a ranking now, it may show how his program is now perceived around the state.
“I believe we’re starting to be respected,” he said. “We have played a tough schedule.”
The Mustangs have beaten Class AAA No. 10 Carrollton and will face No. 5 Blessed Trinity in two weeks.
South Effingham goes on the road to play Region 3-AAA Benedictine Tuesday at 4 p.m.