Most high school athletes don't take up their sports when they reach ninth grade. Instead, they gain skills and experience while they're in lower grades by participating in recreational and club sports leagues.
In Wake County, hundreds of middle school-age athletes gain experience in baseball through the Wake County Club Baseball League.
League play is open to students in grades 6-8 who attend participating middle schools in Wake County.
This past spring, 34 teams competed in the league, which operates independently of Wake County Public Schools, said Jeffrey Wotus, one of the organizers.
The league does not conduct playoffs or recognize a champion; instead, players gain valuable experience from the competitive play.
Planning already is under way for 2010, and tryouts are being held over the next several weeks.
To see if your school participates, and to determine the date, time and location of your school's tryouts and the school's contact person, go to www.wakecountyclubbaseball.com.
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You'll also find an extensive Play! calendar of tryouts, tournaments, camps, clinics and events, including the Triangle's many running events.
Looking for a team or league? Try the Guide to Triangle Recreational Sports.
Does your team need equipment or donations, or do you have equipment or facility time to donate? Check out the Play! Exchange.
- Teri Boggess