According to coach Royce Duffy, the talent is there for Southway Post 144A, but almost everything else is working against his squad this season.

According to coach Royce Duffy, the talent is there for Southway Post 144A, but almost everything else is working against his squad this season.

Without question, the biggest issue has been the lack of a home field because of the failed Southwest City Schools levy. With the field closed for now, Southway has had to play all of its games on the road and has not been able to take batting practice or work on defense except in the few minutes before games.

Also as a result of the failed levy, several players have opted to play elsewhere in anticipation of transferring from Central Crossing. Duffy also said it seems more players have been missing games because of work and other commitments than in years past.

"It's not anyone's fault in particular," Duffy said. "I honestly believe that if we could get everybody in one spot at the same time, we could be a decent team. If you change your personnel every single night, though, it makes it tough."

Players said playing all road games has been tough, but the lack of a practice facility has been the hardest aspect.

"We have to do a lot when we get to the other field," Central Crossing junior Zach Fleer said. "And if we've got a problem with bunt coverages or someone stealing on us, we've got to fix it in the dugout, because we just don't have a place to practice all these things. We're really learning on the fly."

"It's been tougher not being able to hit before the game or field ground balls before the games or practice at all," Central Crossing senior Sean Thomas said. "That's been the tough part. Besides that, we've played just about as good as we can play."

Before playing Westerville (Central) Post 171C last Monday, Hilliard (Davidson) Post 614A last Tuesday, Hilliard (Darby) Post 614C last Wednesday, Southway was 2-11 overall and 1-6 in District 12 games.

Last season, Post 144A finished 19-22 overall and was 7-8 in District 12. In the district tournament, Post 144A went 4-2 and was eliminated by Grove City Post 164A 16-9 in a loser's bracket semifinal.

A few players are back from last season, including Thomas, but the roster has also been filled by players from St. Charles, Centennial and Grove City.

Thomas started at shortstop last season and has played that position again this season. Also back are 2009 Central Crossing graduate Nick Helwagen (1B/P), Central Crossing junior Josh Warren (C/IF) as well as Centennial seniors John Chudzik (3B/OF/P) and Nick Puhlick (IF).

Fleer is the only other player from Central Crossing, and he has played a variety of positions, including pitcher.

From St. Charles, Southway has added 2008 graduates Johnny Francescon (utility/P), Sam Hof (utility) and Shawn Finneran (OF) and seniors Michael Martin (2B/P), Casey Morris (C/3B), Tony Francescon (1B/P) and Jacob Burger (OF/P).

Tony Francescon was second-team all-district last spring, and Morris was honorable mention all-district.

Jonathan Christopherson, a 2008 Grove City graduate, also has contributed as a pitcher.

At a glance

•Coach: Royce Duffy, third season

•Next game: Today at Columbus (Watterson) Post 82

•Key players: John Chudzik, Johnny Francescon, Tony Francescon, Nick Helwagen, Mike Martin and Sean Thomas