Troy Post 70 continues championship ways with state title

Published 7:54 pm Friday, July 26, 2019

The American Legion Post 70 baseball team hoisted another state championship trophy after they knocked off Shelby County Post 555 on Thursday night in Montgomery.

Post 70 picked up a loss in the early session of the state tournament, but battled back to win the state championship with a 9-1 win.

“Winning is fun regardless of the environment or what is attached to it,” said head coach Rush Hixon. “Anytime you can win a championship it adds a little bit of excitement to it. We are all excited.”

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Thursday’s championship gave Post 70 their fourth consecutive state championship.

“It’s a hard thing to do, but all credit goes to the guys we recruit to play,” Hixon said “We are fortunate to be surrounded by some really talented players year in and year out. Coach (John) Rushing brought this back and once we got the first one it has rolled since then.”

Hixon has been a part of all four state championship teams. He was an assistant under Rushing in their first championship and has been there ever since.

“I helped or put together the team each year,” Hixon said. “We have won all four years I have been a part of it. The one year I got to play with Post 70 we didn’t win so I guess I am a better coach and recruiter than a player.”

Post 70 recruits its players from all around the Wiregrass and Hixon believes the team’s success and reputation goes a long way in getting some of the state’s best players to come to Troy.

“There is kind of a standard and we have a made a name for ourselves,” Hixon said. “The recruiting part is a lot easier because people want to be a part of Post 70. Ultimately, regardless of who it is wearing the jersey, they are going to play our brand of baseball and that brand has been very successful over the last four years.”

This year’s team grew into a successful program after a momentary slump at the beginning of the season.

“We set goals at the beginning at the beginning of the summer,” Hixon said. “We knew there were going to be times throughout the summer that we were going to struggle. Every time at any level has times when they struggle. They stayed the course and stayed with the play. They knew what the goals were and they checked one of the goals off when we won the state championship.”

Goal number two is getting past the regional tournament and into the American Legion World Series.

“Regionals is hard every year,” Hixon said. “This year it’s in a different location in Tampa, Florida. That is going to be new to every person on this team. The caliber of teams we are going to play are going to be very good. If you don’t play your best game you’re not going to win.”

This year’s tournament will be a double-elimination style tournament will begin on August 8 on the campus of Tampa University.

“It makes the strategy change a little bit,” Hixon said. “We feel if we play our brand of baseball and worry about ourselves, we won’t’ have to worry about our opponent very much.

The short break will allow Hixon and his team time to schedule a scrimmage or two before starting the tournament.

“That’s another challenge having to wait that long,” Hixon said. “We will have to fill some time with some games. We haven’t scheduled any yet, but we will look to add some games so we are not rusty when we head on down to Tampa.