06/02/13 — Post 11 staff makes official cut, gets down to business

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Post 11 staff makes official cut, gets down to business

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 2, 2013 1:53 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The toughest part of the season -- cut date -- is over.

Now the Wayne County Post 11 coaching staff and remaining players can concentrate on the ultimate goal -- reaching the state tournament for the first time since 2011.

Second-year head coach Jason Sherrer, and assistants Jackson Massey and Cameron Sherrer tackled the unwelcomed task of releasing two players after Tuesday's mercy-rule victory over Duplin-Sampson Post 127. The roster, according to state rules, had to be trimmed from 20 to the maximum 18 players.

"That's always the worst part," Sherrer said. "Everybody has done their best and made it difficult on the choice that was eventually made. It's not the end of the world (for them). (We'll see) how the decision goes.

"They've all done a great job of showing us what they have."

Wayne County (4-1 overall) can now turn its attention to its remaining 21-game schedule. Post 11 begins a stretch of five consecutive games in five days at home today against Jones County Post 154. It's the first-ever meeting between the two programs.

Sherrer's team opens Area I East Division play Saturday against Ahoskie on the stadium diamond behind Wayne Academy. The teams conclude their regular-season series Sunday at Hertford County High School.

Post 11 is the guest of Jones County on Monday, and entertains long-time archrival Wilson Post 13 on Tuesday. The team gets a six-day break and returns to action June 10 at home against Duplin-Sampson.

"It's obviously a grind, especially with the nine-inning games," Massey said. "Hopefully, our pitching staff will do very well to where we don't have to burn a lot of guys out. The break will give the guys time to recover and enjoy the end of the school year.

"We will have a couple of workouts during the break to shake the rust off and pick back up once the games start back up."

Coaches and athletics officers abandoned North and South Division play this season. New Bern Post 24 did not field a team, which created an imbalance among divisions and prompted the Area I commissioner to suggest forming a nine-team league with home-and-away games.

The top four teams advance to the Area I East tournament.

Post 13 is the host for the season-ending state tournament and is guaranteed a spot in the eight-team field. The Area I champion, if it is not Wilson, will secure the other playoff berth.

Wayne County finished state runner-up in 2002, 2007 and 2011.

Pitt County is the reigning Area I East champion after taking two games from Post 11 in a rain-shortened series a year ago. Time constraints and inclement weather hampered the teams' chances of completing the best-of-five matchup.

"The returning guys could use last year as a motivating factor and take the next step we need to have a successful season," Massey said. "There is plenty of pressure each year to make it to the state tournament. All we can do is go out there and play to our ability, and hopefully we can be there at the end."