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Post 70 gearing up for another summer of baseball

American Legion Post 70 is back on the diamond for the 2021 summer season. Just days removed from the ending of many of the players’ high school seasons, Post 70 will see its first action of the summer this weekend when they head to Chipley, Florida, to participate in exhibition games.

“We jump from high school ball right into summer ball,” coach Ross Hixon said. “We are starting this weekend in Chipley. That will get us kicked off and moving forward into the summer.”

Unlike last season when the players had more time to gear up for the summer season, due to COVID cancelling their high school year, the players have had a quick turnaround this time around. Despite the turnaround the players were excited to get back to work.

“The younger team, some of them have been off for four weeks, some of them for one week if that,” Hixon said. “All of them like summer baseball, so it’s never really a thing to get them to come out and start playing. You see a little more sense of urgency from the guys who may not have made the playoffs or had a first or second round exit. Opposed to the guys who went to the finals or the final four. Those are the ones who are kind of sucking wind a little bit because they didn’t have a break.”

Post 70 has two teams again this summer. They have a 19U team and a 17U team. Ross Hixon will coach the 17U team this summer, while his brother Rush Hixon will lead the 19U team once again. Chandler Lunn, Hunter Mann and Brett Birdsong will all coach as well.

The rosters will once again be full of local talent. Locally Charles Henderson, Pike Liberal Arts and Ariton will all be represented. Current and former Charles Henderson players on Post 70 include Cole McWhorter and Darryl Lee. Arden Wiser, K.C. Bradford, Kase Chirico, Levi Sikes, Davis Allen, Hunter Keenan, Holt Steed and Walker Stallworth will all represent Pike Liberal Arts.

Current Ariton players include Jackson Blair, Phenix Griffin and Landon Tyler.

The rosters also include players from Enterprise High School, Dothan High School and others.

Although the ultimate goal is to have team success and to win a championship, the players also want to get recognized by college coaches and scouts this summer.

“Post 70 has built a nice brand name across the southeast portion of the state to where a lot of kids want to play their summer ball now,” Hixon said. “Individually, they are wanting college looks. They are wanting to start here in May and go to the end of July, early August and say hey I got better over the summer. To me summer ball is all abut continuing your path to getting better.”

As a team, the 19U squad is aiming to win their fifth consecutive state championship. They hope to advance past regionals and play in their first American Legion World Series.

After playing in Chipley this weekend, Post 70 will travel to play in Montgomery June 3-6 and Panama City June 10-13.

Post 70 will host its annual Father’s Day Tournament on June 18. The Tournament will be held at Charles Henderson High School, Pike Liberal Arts, Troy University and Eagles Stadium in Ozark.

“It’s our big tournament we host every year in Troy,” Hixon said. “We will have 10 teams in the older group and 10 in the younger group. That’s our big local weekend and we will be all over the place in Troy. “