The Bastrop Braves will play a full summer schedule.
Christian Kidd doesn't have to be told that he is facing an uphill battle in rebuilding the Bastrop High baseball program. To his credit, Kidd hasn't blinked.
As part of his efforts to point the program in the right direction, Kidd has started a summer baseball program. For the past several years, opportunities for Bastrop's youth to play baseball beyond age 12 have been limited to travel ball.
"I just want to give them a chance to play some baseball in the summer," Kidd said. "It's about the big picture."
Comprised of players from Bastrop, Crossett and Hamburg, the Bastrop Braves will play in the Dixie Majors State 19-and-under Tournament at ULM, July 15-18.
Meanwhile, the Braves are playing a full summer schedule, which includes tournaments.
Bastrop hosted the Battle of the Boot Wooden Bat Tournament last weekend at Baron Ballpark. Two Bastrop teams — the senior and junior Braves — played in the 12-team event, which ran Thursday-Sunday. Former Rams Jerry Powell andSkydarryo Johnson, who now attend Southern University, play for the senior Braves.
Arkansas Pulpwood (Camden) placed two teams in the championship game, which was called off due to rain. Camden's 16-year-old team was awarded the championship trophy based on a tiebreaker system.
Kidd, who inherited a young and inexperienced roster, would like to forget his first season with the Rams as quickly as possible. Bastrop won just twice in 29 games. On the other hand, the Rams exceeded the expectations of many with the two victories.
Competing with the likes of defending state champion Neville, perennial power West Ouachita and much-improved Franklin Parish in District 2-2A, Kidd has no illusions of a quick fix.
"We are going to take some bumps and bruises, and I'm going to make some people upset along the way," Kidd said, "but I'm trying to build baseball back up in Bastrop."
Kidd's next objective is to expand the summer program.
"Next year, I'm looking at have a 13-15 year-old Dixie team," Kidd said.
While tangible results in the win column will require time, effort and patience, the facilities have been upgraded. With help from the Beautification Committee and athletic director Brad Bradshaw, the brush surrounding Baron Ballpark was cleared off last summer. There is still considerable work to be done, but improvements have been made, with more planned for the near future.