Troy AAA Rookies learn from previous mistakes heading into state
Published 6:37 pm Monday, July 1, 2019
The Troy AAA Rookies fell short in their district tournament series with Enterprise last month, but head coach Rick Gill hopes the lesson learned will pave the way for an important state championship.
Gill and Troy will begin their state tournament on Friday night in Enterprise.
“We are a younger team,” Gill said. “We have more 9-year-olds than 10-year-olds. They have really come a long well. We just look forward to the opportunity to play in this state tournament. If the kids can play to their potential we will go far.”
It was a best two-out-of-three tournament at the Troy Sportsplex. Troy lead briefly in game one, but ultimately fell in the game and the series.
Since the loss, the players have shown a knack of learning from their mistakes.
“They are willing to learn,” Gill said. “When we got to practice we learned from the mistakes that we made. The kids were able to correct them. They are very teachable and they are willing to learn new things.”
Troy was leading in game one until the fifth inning, when Troy began committing mental mistakes according to Gill. Even in the loss, Gill believes the lesson his players learned will help at the state level.
“The best moment was when Enterprise stood on the pitcher’s mound and the boys saw that,” Gill said. “We told them ‘look at this right now and forever etch it into your mind. At the state tournament we will be the ones standing on the mound.’ It was a great motivational tool. In the end, the state tournament is what we wanted. With the state tournament being the ultimate goal, that picture was the greatest motivation you can ever have with these group of kids.”
Timely hitting was an area of focus for Troy during the last couple weeks of practice.
“Focused on being able to hit in critical situations,” Gill said. “Eliminating errors and being able to be more proficient with the ball.”
Troy recently played in Enterprise and for that reason, Gill doesn’t believe the stage will be too big for his players.
“We have already experienced it,” Gill said. “We’ve already been on that field that we will be playing on. I think now these guys are so hungry, they can’t wait to get a hold of somebody at that state tournament. Once we play that first game, I feel sorry for the team that follows, because these kids get better with each game. They don’t get worse.”
Along with Gill, the Troy Rookies are coached by Andrew Davis and Chris Matthews. Players include Dutch Adams, Pierce Gill, Greyson Matthews, Grant Davis, Garrett Whitaker, Weston Garrett, Will Watkins, Landon Flowers, Ty Hughes, Taquary Kelley, Aidan Pelham and Jamereon Burney.