HARRISONBURG — As the national anthem wound down, Bryce Turner pushed his green-and-white hat back onto his head and took a look at Ben Reid.
The two players flashed a nod to each other and slowly took their place against the away dugout’s fence at Eagle Field.
The two Broadway alums enjoyed one final outing together as high school teammates on Monday as members of the Red Team in the Virginia High School Coaches Association Red-Blue All-Star Game at James Madison’s Veterans Memorial Park in Harrisonburg.
“It’s been fun getting to know all of these guys,” Reid said. “Being here with Bryce makes it extra special. We’ve been playing together since we were 7. It’s just really cool to be here with him.”
The Red Team won 4-3 in a low-scoring affair that saw both teams put five different pitchers on the mound, but the final score was irrelevant to the players.
Both squads were made up of seniors from all six classifications in the Virginia High School League and featured members of 35 different schools.
Reid and Turner’s team was coached by Western Branch’s Roland Wright, Prince George’s Mickey Roberts and Grayson County’s Tiny Funk.
“It’s been fun,” Turner said. “I’ve just been picking different [players’] brains and stuff. Everything is different with all the different classifications at all these schools. It’s been a cool experience.”
Turner started at second base and after striking out in his first at-bat in the top of the third, he later impressed with an RBI single in the top of the fourth and a diving stop in the bottom half of the inning.
Reid was also impressive despite going 0-for-1 while serving as a designated hitter for the Gobblers. He came in to pinch run during Turner’s at-bat and eventually scored a run for to even the score at 1 in the third.
“I’ve always been a little more competitive than most of my teammates, but today, it’s just about having fun,” Reid said. “It was fun to just go out there and play one last time.”
The players reported to JMU on Sunday, met with teammates and then went through a light practice at Buck Bowman Park in Clover Hill before staying in dorms back in Harrisonburg.
On Monday, they ate breakfast and lunch as a team and had a chance to get to know their new teammates ahead of the all-star game that night.
Turner, who played a pivotal role in the infield, said making the adjustment defensively wasn’t too much of a struggle despite playing with so many new faces.
“It was a little tough at first, but it didn’t take much,” Turner said. “When you have good players like this, it all kind of just goes together.”
Despite enjoying the experience and the new faces, as one of three seniors on Broadway’s team this past season, the bond with Turner and Reid was noticeable.
They were one of two sets of teammates to be selected for the game and the two often found each other between innings and after at-bats with words of encouragement.
“When you have somebody like that with you, it makes it a little easier to get to know other people,” Turner said. “Having a friend here is special. Ben is a good ball player. I’m really glad to have him here. It’s been fun.”
Not only did Reid and Turner play a big role for the Red Team on Monday, but they were also pivotal for Broadway this past season — the Gobblers’ most successful campaign in quite some time.
The Gobblers not only finished tied with Turner Ashby for the Valley District regular-season title — the Knights won based off a tiebreaker — but they also won the district tournament and advanced to the Region 3C semifinals, where they fell to eventual state champion Fluvanna County.
“It was awesome,” Turner said. “Obviously we would’ve liked to have finished a little better, but hey, we went 20-4. You can’t ask for anything better than that.”
Turner hit .373 this season with 18 RBIs and also had a 1.50 ERA in 14 innings of relief on the mound. Reid was a .320 hitter and finished with 19 RBIs.
Now, Turner will continue his career at Potomac State College — a junior college in Keyser, W.Va., while Reid will study engineering at Virginia Tech, but said he is still considering trying out for the club team there.
“It was really special to have our program do as well as we did for our last year, especially after struggling the last couple of years,” Reid said. “It was good to go out on a positive note.”
This summer, both players are playing for the Broadway Bruins in the Rockingham County Baseball League.
After that, the two aren’t sure when, or if, they’ll ever share the field again.
But as they wrapped up their final night in their BHS uniforms, they couldn’t help but smile at the thought of what they’ve left for future players in the Gobblers program.
“I feel like we put down the groundwork for great teams to come, especially with all the guys we got coming in behind us,” Reid said. “They’ve got great talent there. I know they’re going to do great and uphold what we’ve started there at Broadway.”