‘Play our game’

Published 10:00 pm Friday, July 31, 2009

The Troy Junior Dixie Boys tournament team will open play at the Junior Dixie Boys World Series in Enterprise Saturday against Arkansas at 4 p.m.

Head coach Sam Kitchens said he does not know what to expect from his team’s opening round opponent, but thinks they will be talented.

“I’m sure they’ll be good and we’ll see the best pitcher they’ve got, so that’s all we really know about them right now,” Kitchens said. “But, I think that’s to be expected.”

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While Kitchens may not be familiar with the Arkansas team Troy will face, Arkansas will not be familiar with Troy either.

“We don’t know a whole lot about them,” Kitchens said.

“But, they don’t know a whole lot about us either. We just have to go down there and play our game and we’ll be all right.”

No matter the talent level of Troy’s opponents throughout the tournament, expectations are certainly high.

“I think we’ll do very good,” said Taylor Lord, one of the players. “We’ve been practicing a lot and that helps.”

Others expect Troy to bring home a World Series championship.

“I think we’ll win it, honestly,” said Morgan Shaver, another of the players.

Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford also expressed his belief in the team’s chances of bringing home a title at a special sendoff for the team held Friday afternoon.

“I don’t know of a team we’ve ever had that I’ve felt more confident in,” Lunsford said. “We’re looking forward to putting up another World Series sign.”

Kitchens also said his team has a chance to win it all.

“We feel like in the World Series we can compete and play with people,” Kitchens said.

“I think we’ll do well down there. We’ve got an excellent chance to represent the community well and to win it. If we play capable of, we can win it.”

Regardless of how the team does, the World Series is an exciting event to be a part of.

“The World Series is what everybody works for,” said assistant coach Allen Blackmon. “To be part of it is a very moving time and a very exciting time.”

Troy will face Arkansas at 4 p.m. today. The winner will advance to face the winner of Mississippi-Louisiana Sunday at 7 p.m., while the loser will fall to a loser’s bracket game against the loser of Mississippi-Louisiana Sunday at 4 p.m.

The Troy Parks and Recreation Department will provide updates throughout the game at twitter.com, while WTBF will provide game coverage live.

The Messenger will provide in-depth coverage and photo galleries throughout the weekend at www.troymessenger.com and www.picturepike.com.

Click here for photos from Friday’s sendoff.