After a late start, Junior Dixie Boys ready to roll
Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Troy’s final all-star team will see its first action of the summer when the 13-year-old Dixie Boys hit the field for the State Tournament in Enterprise on Saturday.
Head coach Billy Jefcoat and his squad have had to sit back and watch their fellow Troy teams participate in both the district and state tournaments already, while they have been stuck playing four scrimmages.
“We have been getting ready for a long time,” Jefcoat said. “It’s extremely difficult because what ends up happening is the boredom of practice sets in. That was one of the obstacles we have had to overcome, trying to come up with a practice plan that will keep the kids engaged.”
One way Jefcoat has attempted to keep the plyers engaged is to set up scrimmages with a fellow Troy All-Star team in the 14-year-old Dixie Boys.
“The 14s have been kind enough to scrimmage us twice,” Jefcoat said. “We were able to play in a warmup tournament in Montgomery. We have four games under our belt in warmup, scrimmage-type situations. We haven’t put on our jerseys and caps yet and go out and play.”
Troy will offer a team that is capable of getting it done on the field and at the plate this summer.
“We have a good team,” Jefcoat said. “The kids are extremely hard workers. They enjoy the game of baseball. They have made a lot of improvements over the last month. We think we have some good pitching. We have some kids that can hit the baseball really well and we are excited to go and play.”
A difference-maker for Troy will be being able to make the simple, basic plays.
“We have to make the routine play,” Jefcoat said. “With how the rules are set up, we have to be able to get our pitchers off the mound. When we get a ground ball or get a routine fly ball, we have to make that out. If we do that, we should be able to stay in Enterprise for the duration.”
With Troy having to wait so long to play a game, Jefcoat said another key will be his team knocking off the excitement and jitters that the first inning will be sure to bring.
“The excitement level in game one at first pitch will be extremely high,” Jefcoat said. “We will have to control our adrenaline and remain focused on the task at hand. After the first pitch of the inning we will settle in and start playing baseball.”
Players on the roster include KC Bradford, Zachorian Cantlow, Mario Davenport, Andrew Galloway, Phonix Griffin, Damien Hart, Payne Jefcoat, Cade Renfroe, Will Templain, Connor Thrash and Landon Tyler.
Troy will open up play on Saturday beginning at 7 p.m. against Selma.