North Little Rock is reviving the American Legion program. After some years in the high school extended circuit, the North Little Rock Colts are returning to their roots.
This weekend, the Annual Memorial Day Tournament at Burns Park begins a full summer of baseball.
On Friday at 8:30 p.m., the Colts battle Benton and then take on Texarkana on Saturday at 8 p.m. followed by a Sunday night game against the Little Rock Diamondbacks at 8 p.m.
The initial move out of the Legion program for North Little Rock was to allow players to compete in showcase tournaments. American Legion, until this year, forbids such activities by players on Legion teams.
The rule was relaxed this season and only applies once district tournaments begin.
Head coach Brock Moore said he’s excited to get his young team on the field.
"We are obviously going to be pretty good at the plate," Moore said. "I think we are going to be better offensively in the early going."
Replacing the likes of Alex Gosser behind the plate will be job one for the Colts, who have relied on the stability at the catching position for the last four seasons at the high school level.
Moore said the Colts have some young pitchers that should prove to be another area of strength for his club.
"We’ve got some young arms," Moore said, "that in time should prove to be pretty good."
If there’s a question mark, it will be defensively.
"We’ll see," Moore said of how his defense will perform.
Like anything else, the Colts need game experience.
"I think everything gets better with game experience," Moore said. "We can take a hundred ground balls in practice, but it’s nothing like the pressure of a game."
That pressure begins Friday night.