Dixie Youth All-Stars are winners no matter what

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2006

For those of you who weren't there, Sunday night's Dixie Youth All-Star State Tournament game between Greenville and Clanton was a classic.

Two teams, each with a loss, facing elimination, but both sharing the same dream: a State Championship.

The tournament began Friday night with all the kids getting to see Montgomery and Riverwalk Stadium and then the real action got going early Saturday morning.

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Or, at least, that was the plan.

Rain forced the postponement of the games several hours, which in turn meant many of the kids did not get home until early Sunday morning, only to have to turnaround and do it again that same day.

After Citronelle defeated Clanton and Moulton dropped Greenville, the stage was set for what turned out to be probably the best game of the tournament.

The game was scheduled for 2 p.m., but was postponed to 4:30 p.m., because of the rain.

When the game finally got underway, it was clear it was going to come down to the end.

Greenville scored early on a sacrifice bunt and later scored again on another bunt, but Clanton would not give up.

Clanton reached base and scored on a couple of walks, errors and hits in the sixth inning before Greenville shut the door to send the game into extra innings.

And that's when the action began.

Over the next four innings, Greenville and Clanton battled back and forth, but both eventually kept the other from scoring.

That is, until the top of the 11th inning.

Down 0-1 in the count, Clanton's Kipp Moore blasted a two-run home run to take the lead, 4-2.

Greenville fought back valiantly in the bottom half of the inning when little Andy Burns blasted a lead-off double down the left field line with all his might, but two runners caught on the bases later, the game was over.

While players, coaches and parents for the Greenville All-Star team will struggle with the &#8220whatifs”-&#8220What if we had done this? What if we had done that?”-for days to come, the fact remains that while almost everyone in this community expected several other All-Star teams to be the ones to make it far, it was this Dixie Youth All-Star team that outlasted them all.

And everyone involved should be extremely proud of that fact.

Since switching to the Dixie Youth affiliation approximately 50 years ago, no Greenville Dixie Youth All-Star team has made it this far and for that, Wesley Hendrix, Andy Burns, Briar Kirby, Mitch Young, Dalton Burns, Brandon Matthews, Hunter Armstrong, Ryan Taylor, Charlie Scofield, Stephen Till, Raymond Moody, Skylar McKeown, Cody Tesmer and coaches Gene Moody, Chuck Armstrong and Chris Tesmer should all be proud of what they accomplished.

Austin Phillips is The Greenville Advocate sports editor.

You can contact him by e-mailing austin.phillips@greenvilleadvocate.com or by calling 382-3111 ext. 122.