Beaufort Today -

Osprey seniors’ season underway

  • Photo courtesy of Beaufort Ospreys Back row, left to right: manager Dean Adkins, Brice Adkins, Dallas Higuet, Spensor Stewart, Kyle Lanning, Rome Wallace, coach Al Wallace. Front row: Matthew Cieplewski, Patrick Talbert, Hartley Smith, Connor Clancy, Cooper Woods.

The Beaufort Ospreys American Legion Post 9 baseball senior team’s season is officially underway.

Beaufort County was without a Legion team for two years. Seeing that as a problem, Post 9’s first vice commander and U.S. Navy veteran Bob Shields spearheaded the initiative to restart the Ospreys organization last year.

Beaufort High baseball and football coach Dean Adkins took over the program, which found itself scrambling for opportunities just to play last summer.

“Last year we weren’t in a league, so we had to pick up games wherever we could find them,” Adkins said.

“So that ended up being all over the state. We did a lot of traveling. This year, we’ve gotten interest in closer towns such as Hampton, Waterboro and Goose Creek. They all have teams, so we actually have a league to play in now.”

Adkins said the biggest challenge has been player interest, but that’s slowly improving.

“It’s tough to get kids interested and spending their summer doing this if they’re not already playing travel ball, which is also a battle. I’ve tried to get the word out through the high schools and their coaches to get their kids involved,” he said.

“It’s just good to get it going again. Obviously it’d be even better with more interest, but this year was better than last.”

The Ospreys had a young roster at the senior level (15-19 years old) last season, and this year’s team features many of the same faces.

Beaufort High’s Rome Wallace, Patrick Talbert and Brice Adkins, Battery Creek’s Dallas Higuet and Bluffton’s Hartley Smith are among the players Adkins sees as possible leaders.

“I’ve been coaching with or against these kids for a lot of years. I know them pretty well and what we do well and what we struggle with, and we work on those things,” he said.

A year older this season, Adkins thinks his team is ready to compete.

“We’re looking to be competitive and hopefully win the league,” he said.

The Ospreys will face Hampton at Beaufort High on Thursday.