15-and-under All-Stars headed to World Series
Published 5:06 pm Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Greenville’s 15-and-under boys rec team will be eyeing the big leagues as a third-place finish in the Eufaula All-Star tournament earned the team a spot at the World Series in Ozark.
Andy Williams, assistant coach of Greenville’s 15-and-under All-Star team, and his wife, Kristi Williams, said that Greenville’s youth have made for an exciting season, but added that the Eufaula tournament is merely a comma, and not the punctuation at the end of the summer season.
The Greenville 15-and-under All-Stars went 3-1, falling in the final game to a talented Bay Minette opponent, but the players didn’t hang their heads.
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“They were very proud of themselves, and the coaches were very proud of them, too,” said Kristi Williams. “They all played great games, and with great teamwork.”
However, one of the biggest hurdles for the team to overcome was time.
With only a short week to prepare for the All-Star tournament in Eufaula, the team needed a little more time to address a few shortcomings.
“There are some little things—situational baseball things,” said Andy Williams.
“There are times in the game where situations arise where the player at the plate or on the field may have a certain job to do—maybe a sacrifice or something that’s not going to bring him all of the glory—and he’s going to do the job for the team, and the team will be successful sometimes when the individual player isn’t successful.
“It’s about playing unselfish baseball, playing baseball the way it’s meant to be played and playing it to make the team better.”
But Williams is certain that the characteristics that brought the Greenville All-Stars to the World Series are the same ones that will serve his team well in Ozark.
“Our heart and determination have allowed us to get this far,” Williams said.
“They’ve shown grit, and they play hard. We were down in one of the games in the last tournament 6-0, and we came up to bat and scored seven runs, and we ended up winning the game 9-6. They never quit, and they just play hard.”
Greenville will meet Bay Minette once again in Ozark, in addition to Butler, the victors in a three-way tie in their own league, and possibly the other two teams Butler defeated. But Williams said that the team is more focused on self-improvement than any single opponent they could potentially face.
“We’ll try to play our style of baseball, and we’ll continue to try to play our best game each and every time we go out,” Williams said.