State tournaments galore for Troy youth
[Editor’s note: This week, The Messenger looks back at the 2008 sports in Pike County. Today, we take a look at highlights from the highlights from youth sports.]
The year 2008 was a big one for youth recreational sports in the Pike County area. Teams in baseball, softball football and soccer all had a lot of success this year.
“Overall it was another good year for us,” Troy Parks and Recreation youth sports director David Dickey said. “Our numbers are up and we are increasing participation in every sport.”
Dickey said the children are having fun in all sports offered at the Sportsplex.
But the youth playing soccer had the most to brag about this year. Three of the teams won state titles this year.
“Our soccer program is not that old and our state wins shows that we have good athletes,” Dickey said.
The Troy Dixie Boys tournament team lost 23-6 to Auburn Sunday in an elimination game in Thomasville.
Troy coach Sam Kitchens said the team was out of pitching and still reeling from a 13-12 loss to the Montgomery Americans Saturday night.
The Troy Junior Dixie Boys tournament team lost 6-4 to North Clark in an elimination game Monday.
Troy lost 10-1 earlier in the day to AUM to drop them to the loser’s bracket.
Troy coach Wayne Stewart could not be reached at press time.
ENTERPRISE — Troy’s Dixie Youth O-Zone Americans finished their season as runner-up in the Ozone state tournament Thursday. Troy fell to Dothan 8-3 to end their season.
MONTGOMERY — Troy’s Ponytails fell to Hartselle Monday night at Montgomery’s Lagoon Park, 4-0. Troy’s loss to Hartselle was their second overall in postseason play, and it was their second loss to Hartselle. Troy finished the season in third place in the state.
“Their pitching depth was more than we have seen in the past,” Troy coach David Taylor said.
The Troy Parks and Recreation soccer league bumped its state tournament pull to three tournaments with the 13U and the 9U girls victories. The teams joined the 18U team in the state title ranks.
The 13U team got its second state title in three years with a 1-0 victory in a shootout, while the 9U girls cruised to a 9-0 victory Sunday.
“That Dothan game was such a thriller,” Troy 13U head coach Doug McLendon said. “We knew if it got to a shootout that we would win because our goalkeeper was more prepared for the situation. We have gone through that scenario in practice.”
Troy goalie Hunter Kennedy stretched out and blocked the Dothan kick and was mobbed at the goal by his team. Troy finished off the toughest game of their tournament with a 1-0 victory and a state title.
“He saved us and all our players made their shots to win the game,” McLendon said.
Early that morning the Troy 9U girls’ team secured Troy’s first ever girls’ state title with a 9-0 victory over Ozark. There was no drama in this game, as eight different girls scored a goal.
“I was real excited for our girls because they did very well and got a really big trophy,” 9U girls’ head coach Matt Leverette said. “We won all three games and we were able to get a lot of girls playing time.”
The 18U FC Troy Arsenal were not fazed by the bump to the higher age level. They were not fazed by a tough first game of the 2008 state tournament. The Arsenal, comprised of mostly 16 year olds, was focused on one thing and that was repeating as state champs.
There is another football championship in Brundidge this year. This trophy will not go in the case at Pike County High School, but it could be a foreshadowing of future trophies that may return from Birmingham with the high school Bulldogs in years to come.
The Brundidge Bulldogs of the Dale County Youth Football Association brought home a Super Bowl trophy Saturday from Fort Rucker. Coach Markeith Blakely could not be more proud of his team than he is right now, and he said this championship is big for the Brundidge community.
“Without Pike County High School being like they usually are this season, this is the next best thing,” Blakely said. “These kids are coming up to carry on the tradition.”
Ben Stanfield contributed to this article.