Troy lives up to Baseball Town moniker with pair of rec titles

Published 10:31 pm Thursday, July 11, 2013

Members of the Troy Dixie Minor Rookies and OZone Rookies celebrate after returning from Muscle Shoals. (Photo/Ryan McCollough)

Members of the Troy Dixie Minor Rookies and OZone Rookies celebrate after returning from Muscle Shoals. (Photo/Ryan McCollough)

In the heart of the football-crazed world of the Deep South, lies the baseball oasis of Troy, Alabama.

Yes, the football and basketball teams in the city have had big seasons, but baseball has risen to mind boggling levels.

In the past 14 months, the town of just over 18,000 citizens have seen baseball teams of varying ages bring homer five state titles, a recreation league World Series and a NCAA Division One conference championship.

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Dan Smith, director of Troy Parks and Recreation Department, said that Thursday is a day that will be remembered for long while.

“What a great, great day for not only the young people on the team, but all of Troy,” said Smith. “For these two baseball teams to both win state championships on the same day just a few miles apart is truly something to cherish.”

The Dixie Minor Rookies were the first team to capture the title on Thursday, polishing off the host-team, Muscle Shoals, 11-4 at Gattman Park.

Head coach Chris Huner said that he feels that the city of Troy has quite presence in the recreation baseball world.

“It says a lot about the community and Troy Parks and Recreation Department,” Huner said. “The effort that all the folks in Troy put in to program really shows how big recreation baseball is here in Troy.”

While Huner and his team were celebrating, their thoughts were with Chad Copeland and the OZone Rookies just a few miles down the road at the Muscle Shoals Sportsplex.

Copeland’s team scored the title win in dramatic fashion with an extra-inning win over AUM, 9-7.

Copeland echoed Huner’s sentiments.

“We had two teams in that area, and both came home with the big trophy,” Copeland said. “There was good competition in both tournaments, and for Troy to win both says a lot about the talent and dedication to the sport in this town.”

Two other Troy recreation teams, the Pre-Majors and Ponytails, are in the The Shoals area playing state tournaments this week. The city of Troy could possibly bring home four titles from one area in one week.

It has become tradition for champion teams to be honored with billboards at Franklin Fields, and Smith said that will continue.

“You can quote me on this, we will definitely be needing more plywood.”