Excitement continues to grow for 8U team

Published 6:48 pm Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Troy 8U tournament team won their state championship on July 9. The excitement for the upcoming World Series has increased with each passing day.

Troy will travel to Ruston, Louisiana later this week and will begin play on Saturday morning.

“The kids are super excited to start world series play,” said head coach Will Sanders. “We are having a lot of fun. We have had a couple of water balloon fights and we went to a Biscuits game where we were recognized as team Alabama.”

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The players and coaches are not the only ones excited for the upcoming tournament. The community has also been behind this team since winning the district tournament.

“Everybody has been talking and high-fiving the kids really everywhere we go,” Sanders said. “I have been amazed at how in touch with everything the community has been. It’s been a tremendous effort by the entire community.”

The excitement of the community has led to a lot of support for the Troy team. The players were able to practice at Riddle-Pace Field, courtesy of Troy head baseball coach Mark Smartt.

“I have been really humbled by the support of the community,” Sanders said. “Coach Smartt has allowed the boys to use the field for practice to get used to the playing surface.”

All summer, the players for the 8U team have been playing for the City of Troy. After winning the state championship, they can now begin playing for the state of Alabama.

“I don’t think they quite understand what they have accomplished yet,” Sanders said. “They’re all real calm and ready to play ball and do what they do. They are ready to represent the state of Alabama, but they will always be team Troy in their heart.”

The players will be getting their first taste of World Series play, but Sanders isn’t concerned about the stage being too big for his players.

“I am confident that they will do well. I really expect them to go and be really competitive. I think coach Smartt allowing us to practice on their field has helped the kids a lot. It’s a big venue and it’s different than what they are used to. We have played in a couple of really big games and this group of boys don’t get nerves too bad; they stay calm.”

Troy will open up on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. against North Carolina. Game two will be later that afternoon when they take on South Carolina at 3 p.m.