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Year in review: Belles state champions highlights successful year in recreational sports

The Troy Belles were back to their winning ways this summer when they wrapped up their fifth state championship in six seasons.

The Belles run at another state title capped off what was another exciting summer in 2018.

After falling short in the state tournament in 2016, the Belles have now won the last two state championships.

The Belles saw their first action of the summer in the state tournament at the Troy Sportsplex. They made their way through the state championship in Troy with relative ease. They finished their stretch run in Troy with an undefeated record, including a 10-0 win against AUM in the final.

“This win is for the girls,” said head coach Max Bundy after the state championship. “They have worked hard. We took infield every day and they got tired. I told them defense was going to be the winner. Our pitching was spot on all week. The girls have worked hard and this win is for them. They earned it.”

The Troy Belles made the trip to Louisiana for the World Series once again this summer.  They began the tournament on a hot streak, starting 2-0 with wins over Florida and Louisiana.

The Belles’ run came to a close two games later when they fell to host Louisiana 7-0.

“This is just a great group of girls that play well together,” Bundy said. “It’s been fun to coach them. This was the second year with me, Brian McLendon and Jeffrey Henderson. (The girls) pick each other up. It was a great experience and that is what it’s all about.”

The Belles were Troy’s only team to advance to the world series, but they weren’t the only team from Troy to win a state championship. The Troy 6U team won a state championship, giving Troy their first-ever 6U State championship.

“I’m extremely proud of how the kids played,” said head coach David Ross. “Winning the tournament is a great experience for them. They put in the work and they deserve to win the championship.”

The Troy Dixie Boys made a run at a state championship under coach Billy Jefcoat. Head coach Chris Huner led the 14U boys to the state tournament after winning the district championship.

In all, Troy had 11 teams between baseball and softball to play in the state tournament in 2018.

There was success being enjoyed off the diamond as well in 2018. The Troy Tiger Shark swim team took a large contingent not only to the district swim meet, but the state meet in Birmingham as well.

The Tiger Sharks had 22 swimmers advance out of district and head to state. Addison Brunner came in first place in both the 50-meter fly and breast stroke in Birmingham, earning her the top spot in the state in her age group.

Nicholas Slobodchikoff finished the 100-freestyle swim 2.87 seconds faster than his previous best time. Bryce Tatum finished the 50-freestyle with a time of 25.45. Hunter Ross completed the 50-meter breaststroke nearly 12 seconds faster than his previous best time.”

“It went well,” said head coach Nicklaus Chrysson. “Some kids went faster than the times they went into the meet with. For some kids, this was the first-time swimming at state, so they were excited and nervous, but they were ready to swim.”

Troy was well-represented in the Wiregrass Youth Football Super Bowl in 2018. Troy had three teams walk away Super Bowl Champions. The 12U, 10U and 8U teams all left Ozark champions.