The Georgia Dugout Club will play its All-State baseball games over the course of two days on Friday and Saturday, offering graduating seniors one last hurrah in high school.
The games will be played at Golden Park and begin at noon on Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday. The state has been separated into four teams — Southwest, Southeast, Northwest and Northeast — and each will play three contests, one against each of the other clubs.
It is the third consecutive year that the event has been held in Columbus.
“It’s a big reward for the kids,” said former Northside coach David Smart, who has been in charge of organizing the event. “We’re trying to do everything we can to make it as nice as possible.”
In addition to the games, there will be a home run derby at 2:30 p.m. Friday and a banquet at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Former longtime Parkview High coach Hugh Buchanan, who also spent time as a scout for the Atlanta Braves, will speak at the banquet. Buchanan coached 29 years at Parkview, amassing a record of 546-245. He is also in “a ton of halls of fame,” according to Smart.
Local players to be featured on the Southwest All-Star team include: Will Kilgore (Columbus), Will Bice (Columbus), Nick Poskey (Columbus), Cam Hopkins (Northside), Michael Rossi (Northside), A.J. Willoughby (Harris County), Christian Wiggs (Harris County), Hughes Massengale (Harris County) and Keon Thompson (Manchester). Players from Northgate, Pike County, Tift County, Griffin High, Colquitt County, Crisp County, Lee County and Callaway will also be on the Southwest team. The team will be coached by Bill Pate (Crisp County), Chuck Cheek (Schley County), Luke Jernigan (Marion County) and Kyle Kirt (Tift County).
A number of major college programs will also be represented by their new signees. Players headed to Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Missouri and Alabama, among others, will all be present.
While the majority of participating players have signed college scholarships, Smart said it will be an opportunity for unsigned players to impress attending college scouts.
“There will be some really good competition, and the good thing is that it will just be another opportunity to showcase themselves to scouts,” he said.
Admission to the games is $10 per day.
Friday, May 30
Noon: Northeast vs. Southwest
2:30 p.m.: Home run derby
3:30 p.m.: Southeast vs. Northwest
7:30 p.m.: Banquet
Saturday, May 31
9 a.m. Southeast vs. Northeast
11:30 a.m.: Southwest vs. Northwest
2 p.m.: Northeast vs. Northwest
4:30 p.m.: Southeast vs. Southwest