READY TO PLAY: Dixie Boys looking forward to start of State Tournament
Published 3:00 am Friday, July 17, 2015
Like the Troy Junior Dixie Boys, the Dixie Boys have not played in any meaningful competition since they competed in the Alabama State Games in Dothan back in early June.
Since they won the State Games tournament in Dothan, Troy has been sitting idly by waiting for their chance to compete in a tournament.
Their wait will come to an end Saturday evening when they begin the Alabama Dixie Boys State Tournament with a first round matchup against Crossville.
“This is big time. These kids have spent weeks, and weeks, and weeks preparing, and I think we are as ready as were going to get,” said Dixie Boys head coach Steve Barron. “I think all the butterflies will probably start Saturday afternoon, but we have to get those out of here and get ready to play.”
With the time that the Dixie Boys have had to wait leading up to the tournament considered, the team is still going to have to wait a little bit longer for their first game of the day Saturday. Their first round matchup at Crossville is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m.
“It will be fine,” Barron said. “We are going to take batting practice off site and get our minds ready to play ball. The kids this week have had a completely different mind set. They have gelled and come together like nothing I have ever seen. I am very proud of them.”
Like the Junior Dixie Boys, the Dixie Boys have spend the last few weeks trying to get accustomed to playing on a all dirt infield, something that will be featured in this weekend’s tournament.
“We have practiced on it for a couple of weeks, and I think they are accustomed to it as there going to be,” Barron said. “It would have been nice if that’s what we played on the entire time, but the ball is going to come and the ball is going to bounce. We just have to catch it and throw it. Whether we are on grass or dirt, we are as ready as we are going to be.”
One thing that Barron and the Dixie Boys have been doing during their hiatus over the last month or so is schedule scrimmages with teams to get ready for the tournament.
Of the teams that they have played thus far is Montgomery-AUM, a team out of Auburn and they have also scrimmaged the Dixie Junior Boys as well.
“We have done really well. We have scored a lot of runs thus far,” Barron said. “I think that is our biggest key to winning games–scoring runs.”
A common theme among coaches around tournament time is the importance they lay on starting pitching to determine a team’s success.
Barron and the Dixie Boys are no Different. The team enters the State Tournament knowing that their pitching is going to have to lead the way toward success.
“We have to be able to throw strikes. I think our defense can play,” Barron said. “Obviously, we are going to make some errors, but if we can pitch and throw strikes and not give up freebies like walks than I think we will be good.”
Coach Barron has been challenged with keeping his team motivated through out these summer months, since winning in Dothan, something that has not been a problem thus far.
“We have the same team,” Barron said. “I think we have come back more to that team then we were. Since the beginning of the tournament in Dothan we are 9-1 in practice games and in that tournament. When we played that tournament we gelled together, pitched good, and hit good. I think we have come back to that same point and I think that’s where we need to be.”
The State Tournament begins tonight at 8:00 p.m. with the opening ceremonies, The Dixie Boys first round game with Crossville will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday.