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.


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July 22, 2013


The Grind


The summer baseball grind. The Valley Baseball League over time has proven itself a league that will help open doors for players and open their eyes to what is expected of them when it comes to playing at the professional level. “The Gateway to the Majors” is a phrase that fits the mold when it comes to the level of competition players will face night after night, to the experiences off the field that will help turn boys into men. For so many years, the challenges that players face here in the Valley League and other leagues across the country helped prepare those that have the privilege to play professionally one day. And with the pressure of success in order to reach that common goal and progress in this game, the “grind” is ever more evident than before.


A traditional spring college season in which most of my players are accustomed to involves a conference weekend series as well as a game or two during the week. With a minimum of four games a week, some teams have the option to play more depending on the time of year. The days in between involve practice, strength and conditioning sessions and/or a day off to let their bodies recover. A traditional Valley League summer schedule involves playing 5-6 days a week with one off-day per week. This schedule reflects that of a professional baseball season. And with this schedule, players will grow and mature in this game in a manner that they are not commonly used to. They will have to adapt to the daily grind of summer baseball.


We have reached the All-Star break for the Valley League, and it is exciting to say that we are sitting in second place, one game back of the Harrisonburg Turks, who are in first. The Rebels were excited to announce that six members of the team had earned the opportunity to participate in the All-Star Game. All of them key factors for us to be in the position we are in right now in the standings. This opportunity allows each player to showcase his skills in front of everyone in the Valley League, as well as associate and birddog scouts from around the area. Whether they are an All-Star on the mound or at the plate, they have been able to rise to the occasion when opportunity presents itself and they have been able to execute when called upon. They have conquered the grind.





(photo courtesy of R-MC Media Relations)