Minors ready to hit the field at districts

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 12, 2000

Sports Editor

It has been quite a layoff for the Troy Dixie Minor American team, but tonight they’ll finally get a chance to take the field, when the Dixie Minor District tournament gets underway out at the Sportsplex tonight.

Being designated the host team has been a blessing said head coach Robert Hawkins, but it could also be something that comes back to haunt the squad down the road.

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"We’ve had some good three hour daily practices and we’ve really had a chance to work on both our pitching and hitting," he said. "But most of the other teams we’ll be facing in this tournament have been playing ball together for the last ten days, so I’m unsure of how well we’ll match-up against their experience."

Hawkins said that because a Troy Minor American team won district a few years back, then that was the reason why Troy was designated host for this year’s tournament.

"If we win it again or if the Troy National’s win it, then we’ll keep playing the tournament here," Hawkins said.

Hawkins said he feels the talent level is strong on his team, but the pitching is not as deep as he would like.

"We have about four or five quality pitchers," he said.

Hawkins added, however, that his team is enthusiastic and has responded well in practice.

"Even if we don’t go anywhere in this tournament, it has been a good and positive experience for all of us involved," he said.

First up for the Troy American team is the Newton All-Stars. Newton is a town that is between Dothan and Ozark and although some of teams from those two cities might get the press, Hawkins said that Newton is as dangerous as they come.

"We got a chance to go over and watch them in sub-districts," he said. "We thought we were just going to go over there and see a few good ball players and that was it."

Hawkins said that wasn’t the case.

"All 13 of their players can flat-out play ball," he said.

Hawkins said that Newton defeated two quality Dothan teams, beating one of them 12-1 in the title game.

"They should be a tough opener for our team," he said.

The Troy American team will play Newton tonight at 8 p.m. The Troy National Minor team will also be in action against Enterprise.