By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
Just say “Cotton States,” and they will come.
That’s the case as the popular Cotton States Baseball League is near the end of accepting applications from college freshmen through seniors to be for the upcoming season.
The application deadline for college-aged players to participate in the summer league is Tuesday.
“We basically put the deadline out there so that we can order uniforms,” league coordinator Frank Dodds said. “We typically get the largest number of applications when we approach the deadline.”
A summer ago, Cotton States had five teams in the college league.
Dodds reports that early last week, the league had 50-60 applications in hand. Dodds is expecting at least 90-110 college-aged players to apply this week, and if that number goes over 110, there should be six teams for the summer.
“Our founding belief still holds true, that there is great baseball talent in North Mississippi and South Tennessee,” Dodds said. “And we’re always excited to see a fresh batch of faces in the league.”
The draft for the college league is set for the second weekend of May.
Dodds said that Andy Dillard fromSaltillo and Buddy Hall from New Albany will be two of the coaches for the coming season.
“We’re excited with who we’re talking to as other coaches,” Dodds said. “Put it all together, it’s a lot of fun to see these guys competing.
“If you can hit with a wooden bat in our league, you are very dangerous with a metal bat when you get back to your school team.”
The college league will basically compete in June and July, including a championship tournament.
Last season, the No. 5 seed in the post-season came through to win the championship.
Cotton States also offers junior high (seventh and eighth graders) and high school leagues (freshmen through seniors).
Junior high league registration ends May 10, with plans to play in June, but Doods said that could be subject to change.
The popular high school league had 13 teams in July a year ago, and its deadline for registration is June 7.