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Troy 9U team gears up for District play in Eufaula

As the District Tournaments approach, teams all around Troy find themselves getting prepared for the challenges that are ahead of them.

One of those teams is the nine-and-under team.

On Tuesday night, the team, which is coached by Chris Huner, scrimmaged against one of the other Troy teams, the 11-and-under squad, at the Sportsplex. While the younger team may not have walked off the field afterwards the way it had hoped, the head coach said he saw a lot of really good things on the field.

“I saw a lot of hustle (Tuesday night),” Huner said. “They got up on us early on in the game, but our guys didn’t give up. They played hard all the way through and that is something you really like to see. They have plenty of energy and they put it to good use when they come out here to play.”

The team’s first round action will take place in Eufaula against Fort Rucker at 9 a.m. Saturday morning.

The team is made up of Cole Coppage, Seth Elmore, Eduardo Flores, Ethan Green, Graham Hamlin, Brock Huner, Franklin Lopez, Eduardo Martinez, Chance Pollard, Charlie Rawls, Bryce Senn, Jade Sikes, Joel Tate and Keith Wheeler. One of the strengths going into to tournament play will be the team’s ability to work together, according to the coach.

“That is one thing that we have been working on a lot, getting the guys used to playing with one another. Everyone wanted to do the same thing at first, but everyone is starting to figure out how to play as a team and its showing on the field,” Huner said.

Of those 14 players, only Coppage, Huner and Sikes have had experience playing in tournaments, which came against the Fort Rucker team last season, however, the head coach said he is not worried about the lack of experience entering the tournament.

“The guys have really not shown a lot of nerves at all on the practice field, and I think that will hold over until Saturday, but with these things, it’s hard to gauge,” he said.

In the final days leading up to the big day, Huner said he will focus on getting the team prepared by looking to improve both the passing game and the defense.

“We are expecting some tough games coming up, but nothing these guys can’t handle. Every one of them is looking forward to Saturday, so now we have to continue to work hard the rest of the week and be as ready as we can be,” Huner added.