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Here's the situation. Our HS varsity coach wants to start up a 16-19 Legion team in our town, partially to let his players get more summer playing experience against quality opponents, and partially to give kids throughout the area the same opportunities. Travel is not a real option for summer play here and the BR league is strictly rec.

When the coach mentioned that he wanted to start the team, but needed someone to do the admin. end, I volunteered because I want the same things he does for kids in the area. And, I won't deny, for my son when he gets old enough. He's 14 1/2 now and undersized largely because he hasn't hit his growth spurt yet. I coached him through LL and by his last couple years he was one of a handful of real studs in the league. (He's projected to be about 6'1" eventually) Last summer he was on a good travel team because I was willing to make the financial and time sacrifices to let him play with some good coaching and opposition that wasn't offered in our local area.

Well, our efforts to form a Legion team are well on their way. It's pretty much a done deal, and I couldn't be more pleased. But, here's the kicker. The coach asked me if my son was going to play travel again this year. I told him no and mentioned my concerns that he wouldn't get much good experience playing JV again and BR over the summer. At that point he told me that my son is on the roster for the Legion team, although he didn't say so, because of my work putting the team together. My jaw almost dislocated it dropped so fast.

So, what do I do? I know most of the kids who are going to be on the team, and frankly, my son's skills are as good as some of them. But, most of them are a lot older and certainly bigger (he's been the smallest kid on every team he's played on in the past two years, 5'4", 100# soaking wet), although he played with some of them on JV last year and BR the year before.

I'm kinda of torn, because if he doesn't play Legion (where I already warned him he will probably ride the pine a lot) he will essentially be idling through the spring and summer on poorly coached JV and rec teams where his hard earned skills will probably slide and the poor discipline will take its toll.

So, as coaches and fathers, what would you guys do?
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I concur with TRHit and j2h6 about playing up. j2h6 says: “If you think he’s going to get enough playing time ---“ . I would go a step farther. I suggest you go back to the coach and ask basically the same questions you pose to us. Parental involvement (and talking to coach) is acceptable in helping your 14 year old son decide where to play in my opinion. A 14YO usually has no income and cannot drive himself back and forth to practice and games. Parents are very involved at this age and are asked to make some major sacrifices. You have every right to understand what the coaches’ “plans” are for your son.
you told the coach that you weren't going to do the travel team again this year. so if he didn't put you on his roster, where were you going to play?? I'd play him in Travel just to get the reps. If the competition is not as good as you'd like, he can still use it to work on his game. Hitting to the opposite field, working on his bunts. He can still polish his baserunning skills and certainly his defensive skills. And he can be a leader on the team as well.
In addition, I'd keep him on the Sr. Legion roster for emergency purposes.
Good luck!

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