Post 70 17U claims a share of state championship

Published 9:48 pm Monday, July 16, 2018

The American Legion Post 70 17U had their summer come to a close on Sunday when they finished their state tournament as co-champions alongside Huntsville.

Mother Nature was the true winner of the weekend. After stormy weather affected the first two days of the tournament, coach Ross Hixon and Post 70 were forced to play three games on the tournament’s final day.

“We started the day at 9 a.m. and had to win three games to win (the championship) because we had been fighting the weather all weekend,” Hixon said.

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Post 70 began the day with a win over the Dothan Baseball Club. They followed that up with a semifinal win over Florence. Right after play began in the championship, the weather took a turn for the worse, forcing the decision to have co-champions.

“It’s a summer baseball tradition to get rained out,” Hixon said. “It was really the only thing we could do at that point with it being so late. We did the co-champions.”

Hixon and Post 70 believed they were the team to beat entering the tournament. They finished the tournament undefeated, but in the end, Post 70’s only loss was to the weather.

“If I felt the other team was better than us, then the co-championship is what it is, but the fact I think everyone there knew we were the best team, the boys were a little sour about having to do that because they wanted the outright championship.”

Post 70 lost in this game a season ago and goal number one at the beginning of the summer was to make it back.

“I asked them do you feel better now or a year ago and they obviously said now,” Hixon said. “You didn’t lose it and you are state champions, whether we have to share with someone or not. The fact is we didn’t get beat in the state tournament and we have a banner and t-shirts that say you’re state champions.”

Post 70 entered the tournament with what coach Hixon thought to be a more competitive team.

“This summer we probably had a more talented team on paper, but last summer’s team was a little more consistent with the fact that we knew what we were going to get every time we came to the park. This time was a little hit or miss, but towards the end we started playing our best ball. What I will look back on and think about this team is potential. It will be interesting to see where some of these guys end up.”

Despite all the preseason expectations, Hixon was surprised by some of the individual performances by his players this summer.

“I wouldn’t have asked them to play on this team unless I thought they were good,” Hixon said. “I was surprised with some of the efforts we had. I thought pitching was our strength. I feel like we had quite a few guys that were good on the mound all summer. I think that would be the most surprising thing.”

Members of the 2018 state champion Post 70 baseball team are Dalton Grider, Logan Ross, DJ Law, Will Reeves of Charles Henderson High School, Trevor Barron of Pike Liberal Arts, Max Copeland of Pike Liberal Arts, Brady James, Chance Pollard of Charles Henderson, Lawson Scarbrough of Charles Henderson, Chandler Golden, Jade Sikes of Pike Liberal Arts, Dustin Jones, Cody Hollis of Pike Liberal Arts, Davis Allen of Pike Liberal Arts, Holt Steed of Pike Liberal Arts, Jackson Ceman, Clay Barron of Pike Liberal Arts, Cole McWhorter of Pike Liberal Arts and Grayson Davis.