According to the official website of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League (www.riil.org), there are 9 Rhode Island High Schools who offer Freshman Baseball. Scholastic sports with high registration numbers for sports such as soccer, field hockey, football, basketball, and in some cases baseball can filter some of its student athletes into a Freshman only team, if that school has it as an option. Should a student athlete be worthy skill wise to play on a Junior Varsity or even Varsity level, most schools allow for this. Here are the schools listed on www.riil.org who had a Freshman baseball team as of the 2019 season (note, there was no 2020 season):
- Bishop Hendricken High School
- LaSalle Academy
- Central High School
- Portsmouth High School
- Pilgrim High School
- Cranston West High School
- East Providence High School
- Barrington High School
- Woonsocket High School
A Freshman only team gives a student athlete the opportunity to play a sport their first year in high school. Participating in a sport in high school has so many benefits that reach beyond the ice, the court, the diamond, or the field of play. Balancing practice and games with quizzes and essays. Making new friends and playing your sport of choice with old Little League rivals who are now your classmates. Getting valuable game reps on a freshman team as opposed to being the 4th string catcher on JV. The physical, social adjustments from Middle School life to High School life are countless. Playing on a Freshman baseball team can be a fantastic transitional stage in your baseball career.
What do you think? Are Freshman Baseball teams good for Rhode Island High Schools? Do schools have the participation numbers to actually have a Freshman team? What are some of the other benefits to having a Freshman Baseball team as opposed to just having JV and Varsity? Send me your feedback and your comments and I will share them with my RI Baseball Community members.