By RYAN HERMAN
For just the second time in the last nine Mays, Cherryville Post 100 opens the season without the chance to defend an Area IV title.
Post 100, which had its record of six consecutive area titles snapped last summer, hosts Clover (S.C.) Post 38 at 7 tonight in its season opener. It is the first time since 2006 that Cherryville will begin the summer not as the defending Area IV champion.
That distinction belongs to Shelby Post 84, which defeated Lincoln County Post 455 in a rain-shortened winner-take-all title game last summer. The Cardinals ended Post 100’s season last July in the Area IV semifinals to clinch their first state tournament berth in their history.
After Lincoln County ended Post 100’s reign atop Area IV by winning the final game of a best-of-seven series, longtime Cherryville manager Bobby Reynolds said his team needed to be better in 2014 that it was in 2013, a year in which it went 16-13 and entered the Area IV playoffs with a losing record.
“We need to be bigger and better,” Reynolds told the Lincoln Times-News last July. “If you’re not, maybe you’re gonna lose again.”
Only three players from last year’s roster have aged out –– pitchers Heath King and Derrick Braun, and first baseman/designated hitter Tyler Shumaker. Post 100 will most likely be without its full summer roster today, and for much of opening week, as Lawndale Burns faces Monroe Piedmont in the best-of-three 3A Western regional series this week.
Cherryville has 28 games in the next 35 days, including a pair of non-division doubleheaders.
Today’s opener is the first of three games in consecutive days this week, and Post 100 has six games in the next seven days. It will host 14 games at Fraley Field.
The regular season wraps up on June 29. The Area IV playoffs are scheduled to begin on July 1.
The American Legion N.C. state tournament will be held July 24-29 in Thomasville, the Southeast regional tournament Aug. 7-11 in Asheboro, and the American Legion World Series will be held Aug. 15-20 in Shelby.
2014 Cherryville Schedule
May 26––Clover (S.C.) at Cherryville, 7 p.m.
May 27––Gastonia at Cherryville, 7 p.m.
May 28––Cherryville at Gaston Braves, 7 p.m.
May 30––Cherryville at Gastonia, 7 p.m.
May 31––Hickory at Cherryville, 7 p.m.
June 1––Cherryville at Asheboro, 7 p.m.
June 2––Cherryville at Kings Mountain, 7 p.m.
June 4––Rutherford Co. at Cherryville, 7 p.m.
June 6––Caldwell Co. at Cherryville, 7 p.m.
June 7––Burke Co. at Cherryville, 7 p.m.
June 8––Henderson Co. at Cherryville, 7 p.m.
June 10––Cherryville at Hickory, 7 p.m.
June 11––Asheville at Cherryville, 6 p.m. (DH)
June 13––Gaston Braves at Cherryville, 7 p.m.
June 16––Randolph Co. at Cherryville, 7 p.m.
June 17––Napolean (Ohio) at Cherryville, 7 p.m.
June 18––Cherryville vs. Wilmington at Shelby, 4:30 p.m.
June 19––Kings Mountain at Cherryville, 7 p.m.
June 20––Gaffney (S.C.) at Cherryville, 7 p.m.
June 21––Cherryville at Caldwell Co., 7 p.m.
June 22––Cherryville at Burke Co., 7 p.m.
June 24––Cherryville at Henderson Co., 7 p.m.
June 26––Cherryville at Shelby, 7 p.m.
June 27––Haywood Co. at Cherryville, 5 p.m. (DH)
June 28––Shelby at Cherryville, 7 p.m.
June 29––Rutherford Co. at Cherryville, 7 p.m.