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I would tell you to go back and read thru this section.. HS Baseball is pretty strong at the Beach and in Chesapeake.

Most importantly is where does your family want to live? There are good and bad sections in both..

However in the Beach district, if you kids can qualify for one the of academies it really doesn't matter where you live. There is always the option of attending a school out of your district as long as you qualify for said schools academy..

Coming from AZ and not having the ocean at your back door that might be a draw. Only you can answer that..

More importantly welcome to the area!
Let me stir the pot with some of the good folks on this site. Smile

There are many fine public shcool programs around Chesapeake and Va Beach. However, you should not overlook the private school programs in the area. In fact, over the last few years some of the strongest programs have come from the private schools. Greenbrier Christian, Cape Henry, Atlantic Shores and Nansemond Suffolk all come to mind.
Last edited by cpkebaseballdad
You are absolutely right! Those schools have great programs, Cape Henry even has a new coach.
Not that I am trying to stir the pot sir, but you can even get into those schools after you are ineligible to play in the public schools. Don't mean that negative, only to throw it out there, if your kid has bad grades, bad conduct,etc. that is always a consideration. Not to say there aren't great kids in those programs, but there is also a flip side.
Of course another positive of the private school sector is the amount of games you are allowed to play and not having the VHSL controlling so much.

Another great story is that PA has added a great asset to their program. Can't go wrong sending your kid over there!

Lynn Metheny

P.S. By the way Sir, the guest speaker this year is going to be Ozzie Smith. Tell Patrick I look forward to seeing him there.
How ya doing there 1943. We'll have to visit some at the ODU games this spring.

Lynn, you are correct in everything you say, but let's not present it as though private schools are the place to send your kid if he isn't trying at anything but baseball. While there have been a number of high profile cases where a student with some problems has recieved a second chance, every private school has eligibility guidelines on grades, conduct etc. I'll tell you from 1st hand experience, GCA's guidelines on much of this stuff is by far more strict than the public schools. Now we all know that kids will be kids, but a kids eligibility to play a public school sport is not likely to be affected by what he did Saturday night unless public officials are involved.

Regardless, there are many fine programs both public and private. Thanks to our coaches and volunteers for all the time given to these student athletes.
Last edited by cpkebaseballdad
IMO, Chesapeake is an outstanding baseball area. The three you will most hear about are Great Bridge (Coach Wiley Lee), Western Branch (Coach Roland Wright), and Grassfield (Coach Shaun Todd). All three programs are usually very good, with outstanding coaches that demand alot from their players. These three schools are competing year in and year out for the top spot in the Southeastern Conference. (Grassfield has only been around for tree years).

Ace and I speak from 1st hand experience. Google Gary Lavelle and you will understand better why GCA has had such success. Gary is an outstanding role model who relates extremely well with his players. He has immediate credibility with the kids and knows how to get the most out of his players. He without a doubt, knows how to manage a game. Gary has developed outstanding players, especially pitchers, year after year.

Ace is correct in noting that GCA won back-to-back-to-back state championships, however GCA has won many more than 3 VISSA state championships. If your son is a pitcher, there is no better pitching coach in the state. Gary's pitching instruction certainly contributes to why so many kids transfer in to play for him.
Absolutely nothing wrong with GCA or Gary Lavelle, he runs a great program and is a great coach as well......however, I was referring to the public school option vice the private school opinion.

With GCA you get more games because they are not restricted by the 20 game limit that public schools are in Virginia. GCA plays some of the top teams in Virginia and sometimes they play top private schools in NC as well. However, I think on a game by game bases, the public school teams in Chesapeake or the Beach play the tougher competition.

I understand your point. No lack of respect for those programs here. Great baseball tradition at Great Bridge. State championship trophies reside at Great Bridge too. Coach Lee at Great Bridge does an excellent job. Wiley gets the most out of his players; Believe me, he will teach his kids how to manufacture runs and win games. Roland Wright at Western Branch worked under Wiley for several years and I'm sure plays a similar style of baseball. Shaun Todd has an up and coming program at Grassfield. All of these programs are quite good.
Last edited by cpkebaseballdad
My only advice would be to check out everything...besides the baseball program, you need to look into the academics. While I'm a firm believer that a motivated kid (supported by parents) can excell academically just about anywhere, there are certainly schools that make it easier (and more difficult). Don't base your decision on baseball alone. Good luck with your decision.
An interesting note: Former Indian River assistant Varsity & 6-yr JV baseball coach Larry Bowles, who had a major impact in developing the players (especially pitchers) for Steve West, was selected to be the new Varsity baseball coach at Oscar Smith in October. In addition, Oscar Smith HS received official authorization & currently offers the highly prestigous INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE DIPLOMA PROGRAM ... a fantastic honor & meritorous benefit to all Chesapeake students!

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