Warm, spring evenings have taken on a whole new meaning at Christian Heritage Academy (CHA), where soon, the unmistakable blue and white so sveltely worn by the Knights will be seen on an unfamiliar place — the diamond.
Part of the revitalization of the athletic program at CHA has revolved around the implementation of new sports. Among those on the wait list has been baseball, with the structural components intact for quite awhile, but logistical issues hindering any such happenings.
Enter in the necessary equipment and a suitable facility provided recently, and this dream has become a reality.
“I don’t think any of us were expecting to be where we are today,” wrote Associate Athletic Director Tim Wilson. “The Lord has and continues to work things out for us; opening door after door. I’m hoping that we will have a positive experience this season that will bode well for us moving forward.”
And the skipper of this fledgling young ball club couldn’t be a more qualified candidate. Brad Cassady, a former standout shortstop at Patrick County High School (Stuart, VA) and scholarship athlete at Pfeiffer University (Misenhemier, NC), felt an inkling that CHA would be an apt location for his skills to be utilized when he enrolled his kids years ago.
“I wanted the students here at CHA to have an opportunity to experience this wonderful character building game, with it’s ups and downs, just as I got to growing up,” Cassady said when writing in about his coaching desires. “I mentioned the interest in leading a baseball team to Mr. [Tony] Quist a couple of years ago and then left it in God’s hands to lead when the time was right.”
With the surmountable barriers behind them, Cassady and his group have been working on establishing the core principles of the game — hitting, catching, throwing and running. The many nuances found within those base tenants have provided much topic matter to cover in practice and diving into each one of them has been at the forefront of Cassady’s focus.
“I look for great things out of the team, and we are taking it one step at a time,” he said. “At the beginning of the season, I challenged this team to be the foundation of many years of baseball to come here at CHA, and from what I can see so far, they are accepting this challenge. We are making great strides and progressing deeper into the game each practice.”
CHA fielded a baseball team around a decade ago, which fizzled out as the interest level waned. Now, with a reengineered outlook, a committed coach and an excited fan base, the Knights seem to have a grand slam in the making.
But for now, a bases-loaded, RBI single will do.
“We’re grateful that things have worked out to allow our young men to be able to participate in the beautiful game of baseball,” Wilson noted.
“This is a special group of guys and I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to coach them,” Cassady added, “and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us.”
NOTE: All home games will be played at Waidsboro Ruritan Field
370 Ruritan Road
Rocky Mount, VA 24151