E.A. Sports Today

Whatever it takes

Weaver’s Langley makes sacrifices with his time just to be able to play baseball for the Bearcats

Weaver senior Josh Langley fields a high chop at third base during Friday's Calhoun County Tournament opener with Jacksonville Christian. (Photos by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

Weaver senior Josh Langley fields a high chop at third base during Friday’s Calhoun County Tournament opener with Jacksonville Christian. (Photos by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

David Beegle’s phone rings in the dugout every day at 4:30 p.m. and he tries real hard to be nearby to answer it.

It’s not some robocall from the campaign of one of the presidential candidates. It’s a call the Weaver baseball coach always makes sure he answers and one Josh Langley never forgets to make.

It’s a call to tell his coach he’s on the way and learn what’s expected once he gets there in a unique training arrangement that allows the senior to continue playing the game he loves while staying on track for real life when his baseball days are over.

If he doesn’t get an immediate answer, he waits five minutes and calls again. He’ll call until somebody picks up on the other end. Beegle recalls having three or four messages from Langley if he’s been away from the phone.

Langley was on time and at third base Friday as the Bearcats opened the Calhoun County Baseball Tournament with a 2-0 victory over Jacksonville Christian on Alexandria’s field. They will play third-seeded Piedmont today at 12:30 as the event shifts to Jacksonville’s Henry Farm Park; Langley is expected to start on the mound.

Langley didn’t have to call Friday – one of the two Fridays each month he’s off – but he doesn’t usually make it on time for practice most days. During the school week he spends the first part of the day working on his studies and the second part working on vehicles at the Anniston Army Depot as part of the school’s co-op program.

As soon as he clocks out, he’s dialing Beegle, who’s usually at the tail end of practice with the rest of the team.

“When I saw the opportunity to work at the Depot I had to take it, because that was a career that could take me far in life,” Langley said. “But I also wanted to play baseball.

“At first I don’t know if I was able to do it, but Coach Beegle helped me out where I could do both and I’m very appreciative of what he’s done. I’ve been playing baseball since I was 4. I’ve put so much work into it I just had to play. I had to find a way to play and I did.”

Amazingly, given the demands, Langley hasn’t missed a workout or a game this season. He may not be on the same schedule as some of his teammates, but he’s always there to do the work.

Beegle admitted being “in limbo” at first about allowing Langley to be part of the team given his circumstances, but he slept on question and now can’t imagine a lineup card without him.

“He wants to be out here so bad and he does everything I ask him to do,” Beegle said. “If I tell him to go run circles around that cedar tree, he’ll go run circles around that cedar tree. He’s the kind of kid you enjoy coaching, the kind of kid why I got into doing what I’m doing.

“He’s doing everything he can do to be here with the guys he’s grown up with. It’s hard to find guys like that who’ll go above and beyond and really work. He’s working for his family and his extended family, the guys he’s grown up with and played with for a lot of years.”

With his two singles Friday, Langley is now batting .444 for the season. He also is one of the team’s top three pitchers and has gotten the ball twice this season, giving up four earned runs in 4 2/3 innings.

“I’m glad I have this energy and productivity to be able to play this game and still go to work,” Langley said. “I’m glad he’s letting me do this.”

JOSH LANGLEY

JOSH LANGLEY

CALHOUN COUNTY BASEBALL TOURNAMENT PAIRINGS

Friday’s results
(9) Wellborn 12, (8) Saks 10
(5) Ohatchee 14, (12) Donoho 1
(4) Jacksonville 11, (13) Faith 1
(3) Piedmont 14, (14) Anniston 0
(6) Weaver 2, (11) JCA 0
(10) Pleasant Valley 4, (7) White Plains 3

Saturday’s games
(at Henry Farm Park)
Ohatchee vs. Jacksonville, 10 a.m.
Piedmont vs. Weaver, 12:30 p.m.
Pleasant Valley vs. (2) Alexandria, 3 p.m.
Wellborn vs. (1) Oxford, 5:30 p.m.

Monday’s games
(at Henry Farm Park)
Piedmont-Weaver winner vs. Alexandria-PV winner, 4:30 p.m.
Oxford-Wellborn winner vs. Ohatchee-Jacksonville winner, 7 p.m.

Tuesday’s game
(at Henry Farm Park)
Championship game, 5:30 p.m.



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