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Post 45's Austin Lemonds

American Legion preview

ASHEBORO — If there is one thing that is assured when it comes to Randolph County Post 45 baseball, head coach Ronnie Pugh and his coaching staff are going to put a competitive team on the field.


But even as late as last week, Pugh admitted he isn’t quite sure just who exactly will be wearing the Post 45 uniform this summer.


Post 45’s first official get-together wasn’t until this past Monday, so although Pugh said he had a good idea of who would show, he wasn’t absolutely positive.  


“We’ve worked hard on trying to put together the team,” the veteran coach said late last week. “This may be one of those years where we will be younger than in the past, but that happens to everyone. That would be interesting and exciting.”


Post 45 is coming off a year in which they placed second in the Area III Northern Division behind High Point. 


Area III went from 11 teams in 2023 to eight in 2024. There are four teams in the Area III Northern DIvision. Post 45 is joined by Davidson County, High Point and Liberty. The Southern Division includes Rowan County, Mocksville-Davie, Kannapolis and Concord. 


Teams will play division opponents three times each this summer.


As usual, Legion experience will be key with high school seniors and some returning after one year of college expected to lead the way.


“You still have to have the right mix and it all starts with the older players,” Pugh said. “If the older players set the standard, the younger players will follow.”


Some of those older players returning are Eastern Randolph High School graduate Samual Asbill and Randleman High School graduate Austin Lemons (UNCG). Drew Harmon (Montgomery Central), Connor Adams (Asheboro High School) and Caleb Dunn (RHS/Catawba) will provide experience and also returning are Uwharrie Charter Academy’s Grat Dalton and Carter Brown and RHS’ Braxton Walker.


Meshing as quickly as possible will be key.


“Twenty years ago, no one knew anyone else,” Pugh said about the start of the season. “Now they are in the same conference and grew up playing together. They are from different programs, but they know each other.”


Post 45, which will also be coached by veterans Andrew Connor and Ryan Hill, opens the season Friday night in Mocksville and then hosts Chatham County on Saturday at McCrary Park.


Randolph County Post 45 schedule

All Games at 7 p.m. unless noted


24 - at Mocksville

25 - Chatham County

27 - Asheboro ZooKeepers

29 - Rowan County

30 - at Chatham County.


2 - Mocksville

3 - Hamlet

5 - at Rowan County

6 - Chatham County

13 - at Liberty

14 - at Chatham Central

15 - Davidson County

17 - Liberty

18 - at Davidson County

19 - Beverly-Lowell (Ohio)

21 - Beckley, WVa., (4:30 p.m.)

22- St. Mary’s 2 (Maryland) (2 p.m.)

22- Morganton (WVa.) 7 p.m.

23 - St. Mary’s 1 (1:30 p.m.)

24 - Liberty

28 - High Point

29 - at High Point


1 - Davidson County

2 - High Point.