The Sylvan Hills Bears are in their second year of playing extended high school baseball and are off to a great start.
The Bears are 7-0-1 with five other games being rained out.
"Things have been going pretty well except for having a lot of rain outs," said Sylvan Hills coach Denny Tipton. "We’ve had the chance to see some good competition though."
Sylvan Hills made it to the championship game of the Benton Tournament earlier this year, but had that one rained out. They defeated Lake Hamilton and Mayflower and tied the host Benton team in the tourney.
Playing in a showcase at Arkansas State University, Sylvan Hills beat Wynne, Marion and Blytheville. Wynne’s college prospect ace pitcher took the loss, Marion was just in the 6A title game, and the Blytheville team was their 18-19 year-old senior team.
Playing the extended high school season keeps next year’s school team together for extra time to gel before the season begins, and also gives the kids a little bit of a break during the summer.
"Guys are in offseason football during the summer, and legion can last until the last week of July or the first week of August. Everything is year-round now," said Tipton. "One thing I like is that our big year-end thing is the Fourth of July Tournament at UALR and then the kids have a little bit of time left for a vacation."
In the meantime, Sylvan Hills will be looking to take on the best competition they can schedule. The Bears will be at home tonight taking on the Vilonia Eagles in a double-header.