CMS about to begin first softball season

Published 5:13 pm Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Head coach Chad Lapp (far left) poses with the inaugural softball team from Clanton Middle School. (Contributed)

Head coach Chad Lapp (far left) poses with the inaugural softball team from Clanton Middle School. (Contributed)

For the first time, Clanton Middle School will field a softball team that is currently practicing in preparation for the season opener at home on Feb. 16 against Columbiana.

“They had talked about it for years,” CMS head coach Chad Lapp said. “A lot of the teams that are real good programs in the state have specific teams for junior high, junior varsity and varsity.”

The middle school team has received the full support of varsity head coach Thomas Poe, as it will offer an outlet to play prior to high school.

According to Lapp, having seventh and eighth graders forced into playing at the high school level can produce bad habits and on the playing field and have a lasting effect on a player’s confidence.

“There’s a good group of talent here,” Lapp said. “Having a team for their age level will be very beneficial for them, and it keeps them from having to play up in competition.”

According to Lapp, he and Poe understand that the goal is to work on the fundamentals and to get them good game experience.

Those fundamentals will look to establish the foundation that will lead the CCHS softball program into the future.

The team will play its home games on Field No. 3 at Clanton City Park with a typical 4:30 p.m. start time.

The schedule consists of 12 games with six of those being doubleheaders for a total of 18 games and two tournaments.

According to Lapp, the roster will consist of 16 girls, the majority of which have experience playing travel ball.

The team looks to take advantage of the city’s construction of four new softball fields.

“The hope is to have them finished by March 1,” Lapp said. “If that’s the case, we are going to host a tournament before we finish the season out.”

Softball has received an added amount of support from the Clanton community of late with the middle school squad and the new fields at the forefront of a seemingly bright future.

“Clanton is in the central part of the state, and it should be a great place to have big softball tournaments,” Lapp said. “I give credit for the city council to get the process going.”