After a long layoff, Troy Junior Dixie Boys ready to begin tournament play

Published 6:44 pm Tuesday, July 2, 2019

While most teams were busy playing in district tournaments, the Troy Junior Dixie Boys were patiently waiting for their first taste of competitive action.

Troy formed their team exactly one month ago. They finally get their first game action next week when they head to Dothan to take part in the Junior Dixie Boys State Tournament.

“It’s going fine, but the kids are ready to play,” said head coach Josh Prestwood. “It’s pretty tough to keep them focused at practice sometimes because they want to play, but it’s good.”

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With the long layoff, Prestwood has had to tinker with his practice schedule this summer. Troy has been practicing Monday through Thursday. This week however, Troy will practice just one day as they prepare for next week’s tournament.

“We will practice hard next and get ready to play,” Prestwood said. “We scrimmage against each other two times a week just to go live. Then we do basic drills in the infield and outfield. After two weeks they are ready to play.”

Prestwood hasn’t had much time to fully evaluate his team due to not playing any games, but he feels like his team will be strong in two key phases.

“Pitching and defense will be fine,” Prestwood said. “We have some smaller kids on our team and with the bat regulations in our league we may have to play small ball. I have four or five kids that can hit the ball hard. Nothing against the smaller kids, they just don’t have the bat speed with the size bats they are having to swing. We are going to bunt some and move some runners up.”

Troy will feature six pitchers in their rotation, but in all seven or eight could throw if need be.

“Jackson Cleveland and Parker Adams will be the two horses,” Prestwood said. “We have Braden and Bradley (Prestwood) and you have Connor Jones out of Goshen.”

Troy will not be the only team without playing experience. Host Dothan also hasn’t played in a meaningful tournament this summer.

“Opelika has played a couple and Fairhope is in it,” Prestwood said. “All these teams you will be playing you have been playing them since you were six years old.”

Along with Prestwood, the Junior Dixie Boys are coached by Kevin Adams, Shaun Gunter and Barry Jones. Players include Parker Adams, Hayden Adamson, Jackson Cleveland, Benton Dunn, Houston Gunter, Connor Jones, Davis Menefee, Braden Prestwood, Bradley Prestwood, Keldon Singleton and Myles Tyler.

Troy will open their tournament against Dothan.