Almost 900 registered to play in WRALL

awoolen@macon.comJanuary 30, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- Try-outs at Warner Robins American Little League are serious.

Children were in the batting cages Saturday and Sunday with their parents, trying to put on their best for the coaches who would draft them.

From 5-year-olds waiting impatiently on the fence to swing their bats a few times to 12-year-olds vying for a chance to perhaps go to Williamsport, Pa., in August for the Little League World Series, the competition was stiff to get on the right team.

There will be nearly 900 players in both softball and baseball this year

“It went real smooth,” league president Joey Stella said of registration.

For the reintroduction of the junior softball league, there will be four teams, the same number as the junior league for baseball.

“It was a little bit more than we expected,” Stella said of the junior leagues.

A few other leagues grew in size this year as well.

Softball grew the most, with seven teams in the minor division, compared to five last year.

Major baseball is up to 12 teams when there were 10 last year.

Baseball tryouts were Saturday and Sunday, while softball tryouts are this weekend.

Managers were to start the draft process Jan. 28 for baseball. Softball will be drafted Monday.

The only returning player from the Little League baseball state championship team, which lost in the final game of the Little League Southeastern Regional Tournament, is Cameron Jones.

Cameron is the youngest son of Randy Jones, who will take up his spot as a manager again in the major division.

The elder Jones coached in the Little League World Series in 2009 with his middle son, Justin Jones.

Stella is optimistic about the teams this year and will be coaching a major team as well.

“The 12-year-olds are pretty good on both sides,” he said. “It will be a real good game if they (the East and West divisions) meet again in districts,”

Opening day is tentatively scheduled for March 9 with games beginning March 11.

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