Ready for action

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 16, 2010

With a little over a week before the games begin, Troy tournament baseball teams are in full swing preparing for the challenges ahead.

One of those teams is the Dixie O-Zone team.

The team is made up of 11-and-12-year-olds and is coached by Rickey Henderson, who said he has a pretty good team on his hands.

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“I expect great things,” Henderson said Wednesday afternoon.

“This is a good group of kids. Everyone knows what has to be done and they are all good enough to be here.”

During the most important time of the year for these baseball players, much is at hand, which is why Henderson said it is important for his players to not get down on themselves if things don’t go their way.

“One of the main keys is staying focused, and not getting down on yourselves,” the coach said.

“If we don’t stay focused, bad things will happen. One of my favorite sayings is ‘know what you got to do before you do it’, and that is something I have told the kids a lot during practice and they have responded well.”

One aspect of the team that Henderson likes is how this group of players has played together so far.

“They are all doing a good job of staying on top of things,” he said.

“We haven’t heard one negative word yet from one of them – they all want to take control and be leaders.”

Still, the opportunity of being on the team is exciting for the players involved.

“Everything is going pretty good so far,” said Cole Wilson. “I am really excited about being on the team.”

“I know we are going to do good [in the tournaments] because of the players that are on this team.”

Wilson is not the only member of the tournament team who believes this team will be successful in the coming months.

“It’s an honor to be a part of team filled with such great players and coaches,” Drew Starling said during the team’s practice.

“I have played with a lot of these kids since T-Ball, and I know how good they are.

“We have been looking pretty good in practice, and we are going to continue to progress,” the catcher said.

In the end, Henderson said he believes the right pieces are in place for something special to happen.

“Truthfully, we could get better in every aspect of the game, but this team has been looking pretty good so far.

“They have been hitting the ball exceptionally well lately and have done a great job of minimizing their mistakes,” Henderson said. “It has been a pleasure coaching this team – they are making my job easy.”

The team’s first tournament will be at District, in Enterprise, on June 25 and going through June 30.