ELCA begins season today

By Anthony Rhoads

Last year, Eagle's Landing Christian Academy made it the GISA Class AAA state quarterfinals and this season, the Chargers are looking to make sure their last season in the GISA is a memorable one.

Starting next year, Eagle's Landing Christian will be moving to the GHSA and will be playing in Region 5-A.

"It's our last year in the GISA and we want to make some noise," ELCA head coach Joe Shadowens said. "What a lot of people don't realize is that the GISA is a very competitive organization. In the Macon area and in the Savannah area, the GISA teams are stronger. But overall, Georgia High School is where it's at. It's a step up."

The Chargers begin the 2004 season today on the road in a Region 1-AAA game against Fellowship Christian Academy.

The Chargers enter the contest without their three seniors ? third baseman Donnie Menezes, shortstop Kyle Pope and second baseman Blake Springer ? who are in Canada this week for their senior trip.

With those players out, the younger players are going to get a chance to step up today and in a tournament beginning Thursday at Tattnall Square Academy.

The seniors are expected to be back Saturday for a double-header at the Tattnall tournament.

At pitcher, junior Cole Springer is expected to be the leader but some other guys looking to step up include sophomores Christian White and Bryce Colquitt and freshman Russ Cooper.

With the three senior returning starters, the infield looks to be the Chargers' strongest area this season.

"I think that the infield with the veterans will be able to make the plays and because he's so versatile, we might put Kyle in the outfield," Shadowens said. "Infield definitely should be our strong part."

While the infield is stacked with experienced players, the outfield is, for the most part, young and untested.

Even though he's going to be without some key players for most of the week, Shadowens is looking forward to seeing how the younger players will do this week.

"Our guys are going to have to grow up fast," Shadowens said.