Correct answer? None of the above! It’s West Columbus versus Whiteville for the 1A Eastern championship. The best of three series will start on Tuesday in Whiteville. Game 2 will be at West Columbus on Thursday and Game 3, if needed, back at Whiteville on Friday. All games will start at 7:00. The anticipation started not long after Marvin Edge crossed home plate in the Vikings 4th round come from behind, 10-9 win over North Duplin Friday evening. The Wolfpack had already wrapped up their berth with a 4-1 win over Spring Creek and fans were waiting to hear the final outcome over in Cerro Gordo.
Directions from West Columbus to Legion Stadium in Whiteville.
- Head East on Andrew Jackson Hwy SW (US-76), go 6.5 mi
- Take ramp onto Andrew Jackson Hwy NW (US-74 E/US-76 E), go 2.8 miles
- Take ramp toward Union Valley Rd, go 0.3 miles
- Turn right onto Union Valley Rd, go 0.2 miles
- Turn left onto Chadbourn Hwy (US-74-BR/US-76-BR), go 2.2 miles
- Turn right into Legion Stadium
If you are new to my musings, the above was written totally “pen in cheek.” On a more serious note, CCSN will be in contact with school officials to check on parking for the game(s) at Legion. A large crowd is anticipated and there may be a possibility of the bus garage lot serving as a parking area.
99% of the time a #22 seed (West Columbus) would be playing with “house money” against the #1 seed (Whiteville). I believe this series is the exception. The intensity of the rivalry, the desire to knock the Pack from their perch, in my opinion, reduce the “nothing to lose” attitude a #22 seed would normally have in this situation. Unlike football, baseball requires a certain relaxation to perform your best. The challenge for the Vikings will be to find the balance between intensity and relaxation. It will be a challenge for both teams to ignore all the extraneous chatter that goes on outside the fence between the supporters of both schools leading up to and during the games.
I hesitate to start naming key players for each team. So many players have played key roles at various times during the season. Usually in a three game series it comes down to pitching, more precisely pitching depth. Could be that Marco Torres and Cyrus Jacobs play a key role for the Vikings and Wolfpack respectively?
If the adults can stay level headed, this should be a great series. Both teams were ranked in the top 8 prior to the season. The last month, West Columbus has played like a top team. Coach Jeff Lamb feels that once the team started taking the games pitch by pitch the Vikings fortunes have improved. Coach Brett Harwood has an experienced team that has faced similar situations and has faced the toughest schedule in 1A according to MaxPreps.
Someone will win and someone will lose. My hope is that everyone handles the outcome in a mature manner. Ultimately, it is just a game. Yes, BIG GAME, but still just a game.