Dixie Youth All-Stars state bound

Published 2:13 pm Friday, July 5, 2013

The Greenville Dixie Youth All-Stars only have a few obstacles left on the team’s journey to become state champions.

After defeating New Brockton handily 12-0 and beating Crenshaw County two out of three games in the previous round robin tournament, the Greenville All-Stars are headed to Headland for the state tournament.

Head coach Ed Little said that the defining factor in his team’s victories was easy to identify.

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“It was a combined effort on offense, and also an outstanding performance from our best pitcher, Jamil Thompson,” Little said. “He really shut them down when he was on the mound.”

That excellent pitching from Thompson lent some versatility to an ordinarily offensive squad, allowing Greenville to make some defensive comebacks to clinch the two most important wins of the tournament—the championship qualifier and the final game in the championship round, both games against Crenshaw County.

“The Crenshaw County games were close games that could’ve gone either way,” Little said. “They had fine defense and some challenging pitching, but we just found a way to overcome it.”

And overcoming adversity has been the name of the game for the past several weeks for the talented squad, as the team was only formed three weeks ago.

Chemistry was not a luxury afforded to them, and Little said that the tournament atmosphere would be an excellent opportunity to test their mettle.

“I didn’t know what kind of competitors they were or how hard they were willing to work to win,” Little said. “I didn’t know if they would just be satisfied to be labeled an all-star, or if they wanted to go out and win. They competed very well — they worked hard the whole time, and they’re still working hard. We’re not finished yet. We’re going to state, and we’re going to try and win it.”

The state tournament will be held from July 19-25. Greenville’s first-round opponent has yet to be determined.

Little said that, ultimately, it really doesn’t matter who the opponent is.

“It’d be nice to be able to scout a team and know who we’re playing, but really we don’t worry about who we’re playing,” Little said. “We play our game, and they’re just another nameless, faceless opponent.  We’re worried more about what we’re doing than what they’re going to do.”