Despite no game action, Junior Dixie boys ready for state

Published 3:00 am Thursday, July 6, 2017

Chris Huner has a tall task in front of him when he leads his Dixie 13u squad into the state tournament in Dothan.

Troy has yet to play a meaningful game this summer. They advanced straight to the state tournament when their district didn’t field enough teams to hold a tournament.

Even with no scrimmages under their belt, Huner and the players still got their work in.

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“We have been practicing, but I haven’t been pushing them because we had a month,” Huner said. “The weather was tough on us for the first two weeks…we practiced at the indoor facility at Charles Henderson. We were very fortunate; they have some indoor cages and mounds where the pitchers can get their bullpen work in.”

The hope was to be able to scrimmage opponents in advance of their tournament, but it didn’t work out. Because of his team’s experience, Huner doesn’t expect it to be a problem.

“I think we are ready to go,” Huner said. “We have 11 guys on our roster who have been playing school ball since the first week of January. They have played a lot of games and some have played travel ball in the month of May. I think they have had enough live action over the last few months.”

Of the 11 players on the roster, Huner believes he has the potential to have eight different pitchers go on any given night.

“They all seem to be able to throw a high percentage of strikes,” Huner said, “We will rely on all those guys. My philosophy when you get into a tournament is you want to keep all of your pitchers.”

At the plate, Troy has the potential and the ability to leave the ballpark with every pitch. Even with the bigger ballpark in Dothan, Huner believes he has the ability to play long ball with a little small ball mixed in.

“We have some kids that can hit the long ball; should be exciting,” Huner said. “The field in Dothan is longer than the Dixie field here in Troy, but we have some kids that hit several homeruns in the regular season. I am going to play a lot of small ball too. We have been working on bunting. We are going to put a lot of pressure on a defense.”

Troy will begin play on July 15 against Selma at noon.