Looking back at 2009: Recreation sports

Published 10:26 pm Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The University and high school sports teams weren’t the only ones to find success in 2009.

The Troy Park and Recreational teams won its fair share of championships in the past season.

“Every year, we our blessed to have both parents and children involved with our youth sports programs here in Troy,” Troy Parks and Recreation Director Dan Smith said.

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“2009 was another successful year in terms of parent and child participation as well as championships. A lot of our teams were very successful and I am so proud of all of them.

“We always tell everyone that trophies are not what we play for, what is most important is to get every child on a team to participate in every game, that’s the heart of our program, but any year a team can bring home a championship to Troy, it is truly special,” he added.

Maybe the biggest moment in Troy recreation sports came in August as a baseball team looked prove itself to the nation.

And in the end, that is exactly what the Troy Junior Dixie Boys did after defeating Texas’ team to claim the 2009 World Series Championship in Enterprise.

The win was the City of Troy’s fourth championship.

In the clinching game, Troy led 6-3 heading into the seventh inning, but Texas was able to rally for two runs and had runners on first and second with two outs.

It wasn’t until pitcher Chandler Avant threw a fastball on a 1-1 count that resulted in a game-ending groundball.

“To think about small town America having four World Series Championships, that humbles you,” Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said during the team’s celebration ceremony this past August.

The team’s journey began in July when the team claimed the state title after defeating Hueytown, 9-4.

“They had a goal when they started practice for the district tournament,” head coach Sam Kitchens said after the World Series win. “And that was to get to the World Series and win it.”

“It’s been a pleasure to coach these kids. All 12 of them pull for each other, whether they’re out in the field or in the dugout. They just wanted to win, no matter who got to play. These kids deserved this. They’ve worked their tails off and player their tails off.”

This past Fall displayed several different champions on two different fields of play.

For one of the teams however, it was business as usual.

During the ARPA recreation soccer State Championships this past November, the 18-U won its third-straight championship, clinching the title with a convincing 11-1 win over Eufaula in Dothan.

“The thrill of this never gets old,” head coach Doug McLendon said following his team’s championship win.

“We had close victories [all season long], and I’m just real proud of our kids for having the nerves of steel to get us here.”

Along with the 18-U team, five other teams made the trip down to the Circle City in the hopes of capturing a state title.

While the 13-U, 11-U girls, the 9-U girls, the 11-U and the 15-U teams all fell short of their final destination, both the 13-U and 11-U girls team made it to their respective championship games, before falling in Dothan.

Like the 18-U soccer team, there were two other teams that brought home championships in a different sport – football.

The 10-U Troy Dolphins and the 12-U Troy Cardinals each one their respective Super Bowls this past November.

The Dolphins defeated Daleville, 7-0, while the Cardinals defeated the Cardinals in blowout fashion, thanks to a 32-14 win over Brundidge.

“For us to win 7-0 like that, it was definitely a defensive game, but our defense has been our strong point all season,” Dolphins’ head coach Shane Griffin said after the victory.

JaBronski Williams’ 80-yard touchdown run ended up being the only points scored and in the process the difference maker for the game.

The Cardinals didn’t have as much trouble producing points.

“The whole team played well on both sides of the ball,” Cardinals’ head coach Darius Carlyle said after the Super Bowl win.

“We had some older guys that really stepped up today, and some of the younger guys player well, too.”