Three area teams will be in important district matchups today and Tuesday, weather permitting, while the fourth is making its annual trip to the Sunshine State.
Even though it’s just the third week of the baseball season, the District 5-AAA title could be on the line as the teams predicted to battle for the crown clash.
Both Walker Valley (7-3), which made a Final Four finish in the TSSAA state tournament last May, and Ooltewah (9-2), which defeated the Mustangs for the district title last season, are off to 4-0 starts in 5-AAA this time around.
Coach Joe Shamblin’s Stallions have swept both McMinn and Rhea counties in district play so far, while the Owls have outscored the Cherokees and Soddy-Daisy 35-4 in their four league contests.
The teams will open the home-and-home series this evening at 7 in Ooltewah before squaring off at Mike Turner Field at the same time Tuesday evening.
Meanwhile, Cleveland High (2-4, 0-2) and Rhea County (3-3, 0-2) are both looking for their first district wins when they meet this evening in Evensville.
Coach Ted Carson’s Blue Raiders will play host to the Golden Eagles on Tuesday evening.
The only other unbeaten team in 5-AAA play, Bradley Central (8-3, 4-0) is in Cocoa Beach, Fla., to enjoy the sun and some baseball.
Coach Travis Adams’ Bears are facing Cater, Ky., today, and New York teams Albertos Magnas Tuesday and New Rochelle Thursday.
With Mother Nature wiping out their first scheduled series when the season opened a couple of weeks ago, Polk County will travel to Sweetwater this afternoon, while the two Wildcat squads will battle in Benton on Tuesday. Both District 5-AA matchups have a 5 p.m. first pitch planned.
At the end of the week, Cleveland and Polk County will play in the Pounder Classic Thursday through Saturday, while Walker Valley will journey to Upper East Tennessee to play teams like Science Hill and Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett, among others.
Polk County will play softball at Hixson on Tuesday and Alcoa Thursday, while Walker Valley’s fast-pitch girls will journey to Murfreesboro starting Thursday for three days of play at the Riverdale Invitational.
Both Lee University and Cleveland State have a full slate of athletic action going this week as well, so while the high schools may be enjoying a little break from the classroom, there is still plenty of exciting competition going on to enjoy.