Rookies finish state tourney

Published 6:13 pm Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Troy 8U Coach Pitch Rookie team fell in the opening round of the state tournament last week, but battled all the way back to play on the final day before ultimately coming up just short of capturing the state championship.

“We probably didn’t play our best game (opening round),” said head coach Keith Jeffcoat. “They bounced back and won three after that. They came out and beat three good teams to go to the championship side of our bracket. They responded really well after the first loss.”

The team was comprised of seven and eight-year-olds. The fact they were able to overcome the early loss was an accomplishment all in itself.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“It’s easy for them to get into their heads,” Jeffcoat said. “Play one more game, lose and then go home. We don’t quit. That was something I was very proud of them for.”

Troy battled all the way through until their final game when they matched up with AUM, the team that wound up winning the championship.

“We played a really good AUM team that ended up winning the tournament,” Jeffcoat said. “For them to play as well as they did, for them being 7 and 8, what more can you ask for?”

Perhaps Troy’s greatest strength was how they responded to their weaknesses. Another strength was how they handled the grind of playing in the state tournament

“When we were really sluggish in one area of the game, we really picked it up in another aspect of the game,” Jeffcoat said. “They did really well sitting out in the heat and being at the ball park without playing. That was Saturday and we had just got beat that morning and we could have come back and rolled over and went home. They came out fighting after the long delay and won the game really big.”

It was a summer full of long and hot practices, but it was summer full of hard work and dedication for Jeffcoat’s coach pitch team.

“They never complained,” Jeffcoat said. “I think we practiced for a month and half and we practiced every night. Everyone made practice and that was very big for us. They didn’t quit.”