Wait ends for Troup all-stars
By Kevin Eckleberry
LAGRANGE – It’s tourney time.
The Troup County 13-14-year-old all-star baseball team will have a few more practice sessions this week before heading to Eatonton on Friday for the start of the Dixie Boys Baseball state tournament.
Head coach Scott Thompson is familiar with all of the players, either from having them on his team, or from coaching against them.
“It’s a good group,” Thompson said. “I’m excited that I’m getting to coach some of these guys in all-stars. A few of them I’ve coached against in different divisions. So the chance to get to coach all of them has been fun.”
In previous years, Thompson has coached younger age groups.
A year ago, in fact, the 11-12-year-old Hogansville team Thompson coached won the state tournament and reached the Dixie Boys Baseball World Series.
Thompson said with players in this age group, it’s not necessary to spend as much time on the field.
“At 9-10, 11-12, we practiced every day,” Thompson said. “At 13-14, you don’t have to practice every day. We just want them peaking at the right time.”
Thompson said most of the players have other baseball obligations, primarily on their respective high-school teams.
“We’ve been having to schedule around summer ball,” Thompson said. “Most of them are playing high-school baseball, and you can only throw so many pitches. You don’t want to wear them out and not have any arms when you come to the tournament.”
Thompson said four local schools are represented on the team, including Lafayette Christian School, which started a baseball program last spring.
“We had LaGrange, Troup, Callaway and Lafayette Christian, so we’ve been having to juggle their schedules,” Thompson said.
Most of the players on the team have extensive experience playing in all-star tournaments, and some of them were on last year’s Hogansville 11-12-year-old team that made it to the World Series.
“They’re ready. They’re hungry,” Thompson said. “We’ve been there before many times. We’ve come close in state tournaments, and we finally broke through last year and won it. So we know what it takes to win. Now we just have to execute.”
TEAM MEMBERS: Zack Thompson, Carson Garner, Colton Webb, Caleb Deavers, Trey Hartley, Kade Rogers, Ethan Morton, Asa Leath, Guy Morris, Justin Truett and Austin Manning. The head coach is Scott Thompson, and the assistant coaches are Jake Hartley and Chris Webb.