Ozone looks to recapture magic
Published 3:00 am Thursday, June 16, 2016
The Ozone team represented Troy in the World Series last year and the three returning players are eager to get back to the series.
“This is like the second season,” said Ozone head coach David Nelson. “We went threw the regular and prepare that team now you’re given this team and you have to prepare for a different season.”
With Drew Nelson, Bailey Sparrow and Nate Braisted all returning, the hope is that their experience will lead to another deep run in the summer.
“They are not just experienced because of last year, they are perennial all-stars,” Nelson said. “They have been here and done it before. I expect the guys who have had experience to step up and lead the team.”
Last season the Ozone team fought hard to stave off elimination and advanced all way to South Carolina. This season the message from Nelson is the same.
“We always preach and talk about it at practice,” Nelson said. “There is nothing like playing in an actual game and having to face adversity and overcome it. Until they actually do it and get confident with themselves they are not going to have that quality … I am hoping some of these kids will feed of the experiences from prior years. Every team is different and this is a new team. I look forward to seeing what this team can do.”
The Ozone team enters the district tournament with a balanced team.
“We are average at everything and maybe above average at some,” Nelson said. “We are hoping to sure up our weaknesses and we are hoping our strengths will get stronger… I want to be a well rounded team where we are good offensively but we are also good defensively.”
Troy will be in the Andalusia District where they will be going up against Luverne, Zion Chapel, Andalusia, Greenville and Elba.
“The district should be competitive,” Nelson said. “Last year this age group went to the World Series, yet they had two close games in district that could have easily put them out of the tournament. You always have to expect quality teams.”
The Ozone Team will head to Andalusia with a roster that includes: Nate Braisted, Adrian Cardwell, Press Jefcoat, Jayden Jordan, Skylar Kidd, Darryl Lee, Drew Nelson, Noah Prestwood, Bailey Sparrow, Jacob Spivey, Austin Spivey and Landon Tyler.
Troy’s first round game will be against Greenville this afternoon at 4 p.m. at Chick Earl Field in Andalusia.