C.J. Rhodes is in his first summer as head coach of the New Market Rebels in the Valley Baseball League. He is as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va. Rhodes helped the Yellow Jackets win the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Championship and advance to the NCAA Division III Championship.


Rhodes spent two years on the staff of the late Paul Keyes at VCU, primarily working with the hitters and catchers as well as assisting with daily administrative duties. He was also director for the Rams Baseball Camps. While with the Rams, Rhodes served as an assistant coach for the Wisconsin Woodchucks of the Northwoods League.


A native of Williamsburg, Va., Rhodes played four years at Virginia Wesleyan College, earning All-Conference and All-Region honors as a catcher.


click here for other journal entries


June 9, 2013


Baseball from the Valley League


Summertime in New Market officially begins when the Rebels come into town. As my coaches and I begin to get acquainted with the area, you can tell that people know you are not from around here. For 10 weeks out of the year, the town of New Market opens its doors to student-athletes and young coaches like myself and provides us with an opportunity to be a part of a tradition unlike any other, The Valley Baseball League. The hours, days, weeks and months of preparation have finally led to this and now it is time for our players to arrive and for the summer to begin.


The New Market Rebels have been a member of the Valley Baseball League since the league began in 1923. And with the smallest community population in the entire league, you would never know the difference with the amount of support that the Rebels receive. From top to bottom, the New Market Rebels organization is comprised of volunteers who take time away from their family and/or daily responsibilities, year after year, to provide a quality experience for my players. When I was introduced to the wonderful people of New Market as I was going through the interview process, it was very apparent about how caring these people were towards student-athletes that they didn’t even know. But as an organization it was important that we agreed on one thing, that when a player leaves New Market and returns home to his respected college program, he needs to be better than how he arrived. That is the goal for each and every summer, and it is important that I and my staff have that goal every day to make sure our players enjoy their experience and get better while they are doing it.


Finally the day the players report was here and what an exciting day for me because of the relationship that I had built with most of them over the phone. As it is my responsibility to recruit players for the roster, a lot goes into the communication that I have with their present coaches, past coaches and also the players themselves. To get a chance to finally put names to faces was exciting, not only for myself but for members of the New Market Rebels organization also. This roster is comprised of a variety of players all from different levels of college baseball, that all have had success at their respective college programs. With this being my first stint as a head coach, it was not about getting the name on the front of the jersey, but getting the name that was on the back of it. Being able to find players whose intangibles were their character and their work ethic. Those were the things I was looking for out of the players that I wanted on my team, that I believe would help us compete day in and day out in the Valley Baseball League.






(photo courtesy of R-MC Media Relations)