Final tournament team set

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The last tournament team to be selected in 2010 was also the last tournament standing in 2009.

The Dixie Boys 14-year-old team roster was finalized on Tuesday with the hopes that the players on this team will be able to repeat the same success it experienced on the Junior Dixie Boys’ team from last year, when it won the World Series.

One element that will be helping the team is the number of returning players from the championship squad.

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There will only be two new faces on the team, as Brian Adams, Blake Craft, Nathan Fox, John Johnson, Taylor Lord, Myles Loving, Morgan Shaver, John Michael Stephens and Rhett Tucker are all returning.

Luke Hastings and Kenyatta Jones round out the rest of the roster.

Besides the players, there will be another familiar face in the dugout, as Sam Kitchens is returning to manage the young group of baseball players.

“Well, I think we got a chance to have a pretty good team and I think everyone is looking forward to that,” Kitchens said Tuesday afternoon.

“We have a group of kids who are going to work hard and know what they got to do to be successfully.

“Everyone looks like they are on the right page,” the coach added.

With nine members returning from the World Series championship team, Kitchens said there would be one aspect of the team that will be invaluable – it’s experienced gained from last year.

“Experience is very important and I think it is going to play a big part in how this team performs.

“It’s one of those things that you just can’t take for granted, and I really think its going to help us,” the coach said.

“The other new guys joining the team are going to have the same kind of experience as the old guys, so I think we will be alright.”

Last year the Junior Dixie Boys ran through every tournament it completed in on its way to a World Series win.

The team went through the District Tournament, the State Tournament and the World Series, losing only two games in the process. While this team is not exactly like the championship team from a year ago, the coach of both teams said there are plenty of similarities between the two.

“There are a lot of similarities to this year’s team and last year’s team,” Kitchens said.

“This year’s team maybe not as deep, but they do have quality pitching and a lot of guys who are going to work hard.

“This team has guys that will fight to the very end, and that is all you can ask for,” he added. “And I’m looking forward to it.”

The team has been started practicing and will participate in a warm-up tournament this weekend.

The team’s first tournament will take place at the Sub-District will be held at Franklin Field staring on June 25 and concluding on June 30.