TEXARKANA, Ark. — The boys of summer are finally back.
The Texarkana Arkansas American Legion Razorbacks have awaited this moment for over a year.
The Razorbacks are led by Matt Riddle and the Junior Razorbacks are coached by Brandon Wells.
"We have some really good ball players that are hungry," Riddle said. "We have quite a few 19-year-olds with us this season because their high school seasons were cut short.
"They're getting back into the swing of it. We've been able to get a a few offers for a couple of guys in the tournament we've played in. Things are starting to come together and the team is emerging together as a whole."
The Razorbacks are made up of a bevy of players, whose high school and American Legion season was cut short due to COVID.
"We had a little bit of a rough start," Riddle said. "I'm big on meetings with the team and getting their input on what's going on. A couple of our leaders stepped up and took control of the entire team.
"They came up with practice times and different times they could get together for extra work. That's how a team comes together, when guys take ownership of what happens out there."
Seth Phillips, Roc Hawthorne, Blake Ritter, Rilyn Coleman, Tyler Lawrence, Shaw Storey, Skeet Roberts, Silas Cowgill, Derek Hilton, Stone Williams, Rafe Ross, Kannon Dempsey and Trey Malone are all on this year's squad.
"Once you get teams that want to do things with one another, that helps mold the camaraderie throughout the team," Riddle said. "These guys definitely have the drive and hunger. They say all they want to do this summer is eat on the field."
Jordan Nelson, Kade Clinton, Parker Goodman and Landyn McLeod complete the roster for this season's team.
"If we can continue to stay merged as a unit, I don't see us having any problems through state and the regional tournament," Riddle said. "On paper, there's no reason why these guys shouldn't make it to the World Series.
"Our weakest link is one of our strongest ball players. When you have that going, it's all about how they show up to the ball field. This is the first year in a few years, that the Texarkana Razorbacks have a majority of local guys. We're all local guys this year and we need the community to come out to support these guys."
2021 Texarkana Razorbacks American Legion Schedule
June 11-13 Texarkana Tournament, TBD
June 15 TBD
June 18-20 at Connors State Tournament, TBD
June 22 Camden Pulpwood, 6 p.m.
June 25-27 at North Texas Classic, TBD
June 29 Mena, 6 p.m.
July 6 Texarkana Bulldogs, 6 p.m.
July 9-11 at Tupelo Miss.Tournament, 6 p.m
July 13 El Dorado, 6 p.m.
July 16-18 TBD
July 24-31 at Arkansas State Tournament