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Legion baseball team unites players from around Black Belt area

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Unlike their junior counterpart, which is comprised primarily of Demopolis High School and Marengo Academy talent, the West Alabama senior American Legion team combines players from several schools around the Black Belt.

The challenges and obstacles that accompany unfamiliarity are not lost on the players who will be charged with overcoming them.

Even first-time legion players grasp the difficulties that face the team as it tries to live up to the talent that blesses its roster.

However, while the players, who had their first team practice Wednesday, feel the urgency of their circumstances, many of them seem to understand that developing team chemistry is a gradual process.

How quickly the team is able to come together may be partially contingent upon the work of its rookie head coach. DeRoy, a 2008 graduate of the University of West Alabama, played four seasons for the Tiger baseball program. He said he plans to promote a laid back atmosphere as he looks to help the players hone their skills through the season.

DeRoy understands that nearly all of his players are either currently on college rosters or striving to earn a place on one.

He hopes that during his time with them, he can better educate them on some of the physical and mental demands of playing the game in college.

While the league does serve to get its high school players collegiate attention, it also affords many of them the opportunity to face a higher level of competition than they would ordinarily see during the off-season.