Recent threads about holding kids back got me thinking on my day/night off. I just want to focus on one thing at a time. Trying out for the HS team as a freshman is usually that first step. There isn't much need to worry about the Covid college log jam if this step is skipped. I will be the 1st to say (even though I don't like it) making a 2025 into a 2026 under normal times has a clear and obvious physical advantage of doing so. However, unless you have been under a rock we are not living under normal times.
The last real cohort of Senior/Junior students played HS baseball and graduated in 2019, with 2020 being a wash. Most, if not all, of the successful HS teams are composed of upper classmen. So, it would stand to reason that quite a few kids playing in 2021 would have been at best JV in 2019. This is the last time they played some form of HS baseball. Mix in hybrid/remote students, and I assure you 2021 season is uncertain at best and will not feel normal. 2025 8th graders will be trying out for HS in 2022 with most teams being wide open. First impressions count in life, and sometimes being the first one through the wall is good thing. When baseball teams start anew there is a sense of looking to the future. A certain level of loyalty and trust can develop between a good coach and a solid player. Coaches aren't blind to a players age. As long as the players are comparable (both solid skills and numbers) the vast majority of coaches are going to lean with the kid they already know. It's just common sense, and really comes down to a trust issue that has already been proven by the kid that went through the wall 1st.
In years past, I would have agreed on the physical advantage of holding a kid back, but I'm not sure about 2025's. Seems to me a solid 2025 kid will have a clear advantage by "striking when the iron is hot" if he is able to show up in 2022 and gain the respect and trust of the coach. The timing just feels right.
Let me know if anyone views this differently, curious to know?