The Walsingham Senators did not have much time to prepare for their July 9 Southern Counties men’s baseball season opener.
“A couple practices, and here we are,” said Walsingham coach Greg Smithson, who also plays tournament ball with the Senators oldtimers and is assisted by three other oldtimer teammates.
The Senators last had a team in the SC men’s loop about 4-5 years ago, but the newest version – a mixture of youth and veterans ages 18 to 45 – has strong baseball roots.
“I’ve coached most of these guys before in minor ball,” said Smithson, noting most of the team consists of homegrown Langton-Walsingham area players.
“Basically I have two kids on the team and they are friends with everybody. So everybody knows each other, but they haven’t played ball together for probably five years. Most of them have been out of ball, except for the few that played on the Tillsonburg team.”
They also supplemented the roster with some of those Tillsonburg players.
“A couple years, Tillsonburg didn’t have a bantam or midget team so they’d send a few guys down to us. We’d reciprocate the other way and send a couple guys (to Tillsonburg). So basically we’re a Walsingham-Tillsonburg mixture.”
The goal in their return to Southern Counties, with home games Thursday nights, is to “just to keep it together so that we can go again next year. It’s just a small schedule – only a 10-game schedule this year. Basically we just wanted to get something started this year and we can add more next year.”
The Senators learned just a few weeks ago the 2021 season would commence July 9.
“I’ve always said I don’t care what we do in regular season, I want to get all my pitchers a bunch of innings, find out where everybody’s good at playing. The season doesn’t really matter, so let’s get to the year-end tournament and then we’ll win that. I don’t care about winning every game – I’d like to win a couple – but I’d also like all of my pitchers to get like 25 innings in 10 games, hopefully, because we have a bunch of them. Just about all of them can throw.”