Wilmington Post 10 Baseball

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 Post 265 battling more than a team

In an effort to make history, Jacksonville Post 265 will need to overcome the history of another team. 

On paper, the local American Legion baseball team’s first-round best-of-5 Area II-East series with Wilmington Post 10 appears to be a set of two clubs who match up with each other well. 

Both are solid squads with good hitting, decent pitching and good coaches with Post 265 being directed by Larry Coffman and Post 10 led by Scott Sandlin. 

However, it’s no doubt that Wilmington is the favorite in this series, and it has nothing to do with Post 10 being a second seed and Post 265 seeded third. 

Rather, Wilmington has the advantage of not only topping Jacksonville in recent postseasons, but also having more recognizition, both from the state level as well as nationally. 

Jacksonville, though, is hoping to change that and a series victory would certainly do that. The series kicks off Friday at Wilmington’s Legion Stadium. 

“We have to create our own history,” said Coffman, whose club is in the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, being swept by Post 10 last year. “To beat a good team, you have to beat their history … it’s hard to defeat history.” 

Post 10 has been the Area II-East conference’s version of the New York Yankees. Every other team measures themselves with how well they do against Wilmington. How Post 10 got that role is easy: the program has produced competitive sides year in and year out and has generated plenty of postseason success. 

“Post 10 has always been the top program, even though Morehead City has been on top the past two years,” Coffman said. “Post 10 has a good ball club and it is by far experienced in the playoffs; they don’t plan on not making the playoffs. 

“Scott Sandlin does a great job with those kids.” 

But so has Coffman, along with his coaching staff of Scott Johnson and Will Taylor. Under the leadership of the three coaches, Jacksonville (10-6 overall, 9-5 in conference) is back in the postseason after a 0-3 start. 

That stat alone gives Coffman plenty of reason that his club will put forth a good showing come Friday. 

“You have to be a force to be reckoned with when kids are that determined,” he said. 

And while Coffman, his staff and myself are aware of that, maybe the rest of the conference and perhaps the state won’t know that until Post 265 knocks off Post 10. 

“We need to take it to the next step … to get more recognizition,” Coffman said. “(As far as respect) we are getting there, we are not there yet. 

“You don’t get there until you win.” 

Sounds simple enough doesn’t it?