Tuesday, May 21, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Bruins only fielding AA, junior team

Leader sportswriter

At the beginning of next month, the Sylvan Hills Bruins American Legion baseball teams will open their season with a new head coach and an estimated 30 players for the junior and AA teams.

Matt Presson, who spent last season as an assistant for the Bruins’ AA team, will take over head coaching duties this summer for both the junior and AA teams.

“I’m the team manager, but Matt Presson is the head coach of the AA Legion team and the junior Legion team,” said Bruins manager Jim Fink. “He helped (former coach) Brandon Eller last year. Brandon went to the Jonesboro area, so Matt’s going to move up and be the head coach this year.”

Each team has had just one organized practice to date, and with the high school season just now wrapping up and it still being early in the signing up process, neither team has all of its players in place. But according to Fink, the two teams will have its share of competitors.

“It’s really too early to tell at this point in time, but we have some guys that really want to play baseball, and we’re looking forward to working with them,” Fink said. “As far as numbers go, right now we’ve got about 10 boys per team, and we’re continuing to add more every day. What we should end up having is about 15 or 16 (players) on each team.”

Hunter and Dawson Heslep, along with Carson Sanders are three of the returning starters Fink mentioned for the Bruins’ junior team, which are made up of 15-, 16- and 17-year olds. For the Bruins’ AA team, Fink mentioned Robert Brock and Mitchell Meyers as two players returning to the team, which consists of 17-, 18- and 19-year olds.

Although Sylvan Hills’ junior and AA teams will be primarily made up of players from the Sherwood area, players from North Little Rock, North Pulaski and England schools have joined each team to fill out the roster.

Once the season gets underway, Sylvan Hills will be playing the bulk of its schedule against teams from Cabot, Jacksonville, North Little Rock, Benton, Conway, Heber Springs, Morrilton, Pangburn and Pine Bluff.

The Bruins’ AA team will be the first Sylvan Hills team to start the season with a home-opener against Pangburn at 7 p.m. on June 3. The Bruins’ junior team will open its season three-days later on June 6 with a doubleheader at Cabot that starts at 6 p.m.