Legacy baseball hopes to return to the diamond

Before the season was suspended, Jack Chambless and his Legacy Charter High Eagles baseball team were flying high, but questions remain about what happens next.

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  • | 2:57 p.m. March 31, 2020
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During a baseball season, there’s usually not a lot of downtime to sit and just talk.

Yet sitting in the dugout before a game against Orlando Christian Prep, Legacy Charter High School head coach Jack Chambless and his three senior pitchers — Jacob Worley, Justin LaGasse and Andrew Birko — found themselves with a few minutes to spare.

It’s the first time in four years with these seniors that Chambless actually had time to talk alone — with no one else around. And in that moment, Chambless decided to share a life lesson.

“I had about six or seven minutes just to sit and talk with the three seniors, and I told them that the one wish I had for them is that they could realize the most important moments of their life while they are taking place,” Chambless said. “When you get into your 40s and 50s and you look back on your senior year, you kind of regret that you didn’t enjoy things more and process how important it was.”

That game — which Legacy won 15-5 — was Thursday, March 5, but the message offered by Chambless rang with a clarity that wouldn’t be realized until a week later when the Eagles played what could be their final game of the 2020 season.

A day after Legacy beat Foundation Academy 7-2, the Florida Department of Education announced Friday, March 13, that an extra week off would be added to spring break, closing school down for two weeks to keep students safe during the coronavirus. It was later announced that schools would be closed until at least April 30.

During that timeframe, Legacy will miss the remainder of its regular season games. There is still no word on postseason play officially, but chances are it could be canceled as well. 

Just like every other school in the state, there’s uncertainty about if the season will start back up, but Chambless said his players continue to work out on their own. If there is a season, they need to be ready to go, he said.

“As soon as the season was postponed the first time — and we have reiterated this when it was postponed again — we emphasized with the players that the coaches would not be able to do anything with them,” Chambless said. “The players have taken it upon themselves to get together in small numbers … and I have been keeping up with my players through email just to find out how their individual workouts are going on.”

While players continue their workouts away from campus, the future is still unknown — especially for those seniors looking to take advantage of their last year.

“To look back and be like, ‘Wow, I didn’t even know I was playing my last game when I played Foundation — or whatever game it may be,’ that, no question, is scary,” LaGasse said. “But, Lord willing, it won’t happen.”

Up until the season was suspended, Legacy was playing some of the best baseball in the area.

The Eagles had pulled off a 9-2 record thanks to talent and depth the program has never seen before. At the plate, Legacy has scored 106 runs in only 11 games — last year, the team only scored 178 through 27 games.

As the offense exploded, the team’s pitching kept the Eagles always ahead. At one point, the Eagles had three straight no-hitters, with Worley being one walk away from recording a perfect game.

“To be honest, it was really cool to have that kind of experience, because that’s never happened on our team before,” Birko said. “Maybe we got lucky and got one in a season, but never do you think you’ll have three no-hitters in the exact same week.”

No one wants to see those kinds of results — and the season itself — go to waste, so as of right now, the hope for Chambless and his team is that they can somehow get back out to the diamond.

“My plan is to trust my players and believe that they’re all out there thinking that the harder they work, the more of an advantage they have against the schools whose players aren’t putting in the work,” Chambless said. “That’s the only plan I have is to trust my kids to be ready if we get to play again.”


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