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Dixie Youth prep for state tournament

After nearly two weeks since their last game, the Greenville Dixie Youth are preparing to hit the road again, this time for the state tournament in Lincoln.

During the week after their district championship in Luverne, the All-Stars only got in one day of practice.

“We ended the tournament on a Saturday night, then came back to practice on Wednesday, but it rained us out Thursday and we gave them the weekend off,” said head coach Kenny Burkett.

The All-Stars took to the field on Monday with a three-hour practice, and Burkett said that would be followed up with practices on Tuesday and Wednesday before resting on Thursday and heading upstate on Friday morning.

“We’ve spent a lot of time working on defense,” Burkett said. “In the Luverne tournament, our defense didn’t get a whole lot of work because our pitchers struck out a lot of the other batters.”

In the first round of the state tournament, Greenville will face off against Grove Hill.

“Grove Hill is a good team, like everyone in the tournament, but I’m not sure how dominant they are,” Burkett said. “It’s a do-or-die approach now, and we’ve got to take every game like it’s the championship.”

“We don’t want to get in the losers’ bracket early,” he added.

Last year, Greenville ran into a fireballer named Rob Pertit, and Burkett said as long as they don’t run into a pre-teen phenom this year, the team should be able to play well.

“We’ve got some kids that can throw strikes, and as long as we play good defense and hit a little bit, we’ll be alright,” he said.

The game against Grove Hill is set for 3:30 p.m. this Saturday.