Special summer for Troup all-stars
Published 9:15 pm Sunday, July 15, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
A special summer has reached its conclusion for the Troup National 11-12-year-old all-stars.
Facing Swainsboro in a must-win game on Saturday morning, Troup National’s summer ended with a hard-fought 6-4 loss in the Dixie Youth Baseball state tournament.
Troup finished third in the state and came within two victories of advancing to the World Series for the second straight year.
After going 2-1 in pool play, Troup National returned to Swainsboro for the double-elimination portion of the state tournament along with three other teams.
Troup National got started with a 10-5 victory over Swainsboro on Friday, but it lost its second game 6-1 to Wrens.
Troup National was back on the field on Saturday morning for a rematch with Swainsboro, with a trip to the championship game on the line.
The rematch belonged to Swainsboro, which won 6-4.
A year ago, Troup’s 11-12-year-old all-star team won the state tournament to reach the World Series.
A team composed mostly of new players made another run at a state title this summer.
Troup delivered a dominant performance in the district tournament, rolling to a 4-0 record to win the title and advance to state.
In the championship game, Troup National beat Schley County 9-2.
Troup National was one of eight teams in the state tournament, and they were divided into two four-team polls.
Troup split its first two games in pool play before beating Thomaston to advance to the semifinals.
Troup finished the summer with a 7-3 record in tournament play.
After the game, Curt Longshore announced that he was going to take a break from coaching youth baseball.
Longshore has been the 11-12-year-old all-star coach the previous two summers, and he has been coaching youth baseball for about a decade.
Longshore, explaining that he wants to spent more time with his daughter, wrote on Facebook that “I always enjoyed the grind and the process of helping young men transition from boys to men. I have coached hundreds of kids during that time and I have memories shared with each and every one that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I can never begin to repay them for what they have given me and the memories I have of a game that I am so passionate about. In my mind I am still the boy with his bat and ball playing in the backyard until dark and my boys have kept me young.”
Longshore added his thanks to all of the parents over the years “who have put up with me and the long hot summer days and to the boys I say thanks for a hell of a ride and giving this old boy a few more days in the sun. Stay humble, stay hungry, and always hold the rope. I love you all.”
Jimmie Jackson, Parker Shattuck, Cooper Stephens, Trevor Hansford, Rob Skinner, Bryce Hubbard, Garrett Huckleberry, Landon Merna, Blake Sheppard, Gryson Cockrell, Kaden Carlisle and Steven Hill
Curt Longshore (head coach), Jeffery Tucker, Glenn Jackson and Corey Sheppard