They don’t count in the win-loss column.
They don’t have anything to do with whether or not a team makes the playoffs.
But scrimmages for high school softball and volleyball teams around the state begin this week and coaches and players everywhere are looking forward to them.
“The scrimmage is very important,” said Calhoun High School softball head coach Diane Smith of her team’s hyped up workout Thursday afternoon against Coahulla Creek. “ I’m anxious to see how we look against another team and that’s what the scrimmage is for.
“We had a good summer of workouts. We’ve had a great first few days of practice here and now I want to see how we stack up against an opponent. And the scrimmage gives us that opportunity.”
Calhoun volleyball coach Nic Hann said pretty much the same thing for his girls.
“I’m anxious to see how we do in the scrimmage,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of new players that will be going against their first varsity competition and I want to see how they respond to that. Rome always has a strong team, so we know it’ll be a really good competition for us. So we’re anxious to get out there and see just where we are.”
The Calhoun softball team was 21-10 last year, including a sparkling 14-1 record in 5-A Region 7 action.
But this will be the first time in five years they’re playing without All-State performer Lyndi Rae Davis, who graduated and has taken her talents to Athens to play for the Georgia Bulldogs.
“Lyndi’s an amazing player and we have relied heavily on her the last couple of years because of her outstanding abilities,” Smith said. “But she’s gone and it’s time for this group to step it up and show what they can do. And they’ll get that first chance against Coahulla Creek.”
In 30 games last year, Davis had an incredible .600 batting average with 15 homers and 41 RBI. She had 45 hits in 75 at-bats with 29 of those hits going for extra bases as she also pounded out 14 doubles.
The Calhoun volleyball team also had an excellent fall in 2020, getting within two wins of reaching the state tournament. They finished with an amazing 34-17 record and Hann made it clear that they were looking for that type of success, if not even more, over the next couple of months.
The Sonoraville and Gordon Central High School girls will also be making their first appearance on the diamond and on the court over the next couple of days before everyone starts keeping track of their win-loss records next week.
The Lady Phoenix softball team got a head start on everyone in the scrimmage category when they hosted Chattooga Tuesday afternoon in their only preseason workout before they open the regular season Thursday afternoon on the road at Dawson County. They actually have a opening home-and-away series with Dawson County as the two teams meet again on Monday, but this time in Sonoraville. Then the Phoenix srat home Tuesday to face Calhoun in their cross-town rivalry.
Sonoraville is coming off an excellent 2020 season in which they went to the second round of the 3-A playoffs and were 13-3 in AAA Region 6 games.
They will be one of the youngest teams in Northwest Georgia with seven freshmen on a 16-person roster, but that isn’t diminishing their hopes as they also have one of the best pictchers in the state on their side.
Senior pitcher Taylor Long, who has verbally committed to play at the University of Tennessee-Chatanooga, is the Shohei Ohtani of the local softball scene, displaying the ability to blow hitters away with her fireball throwing while wearing out the opposing hurlers with her explosive bat.
Last year as a junior, Long led Northwest Georgia with an incredible 328 strikeouts while winning 15 games with a equally-impressive 1.07 Earned Run Average. And on the offensive side, she terrorized teams with a .330 batting average.
The Phoenix volleyball team also commences the 2021 regular season with the idea that great things are on the horizon after they won 40 games last fall and advanced to the fourth round of the AAA playoffs. They were also 8-2 in their league with both losses coming to AAA Area 6 champion Lafayette.