Troup all-stars ready to roll
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It’s go time.
The Troup County 11-12-year-old all-stars have been practicing for more than a month, and they’ll finally get to play a game that counts this weekend in the opening round of the Dixie Youth Baseball state tournament.
Troup, Wrens and Swainsboro will play a round-robin series of game on Saturday, and those same three teams will return to Swainsboro the following weekend to determine a state champion.
Saturday’s games will be used to determine the seeding for the games on July 13.
First up for Troup will be Saturday’s game at noon against Wrens, and Troup finishes the day with a game against Swainsboro at 6 p.m.
Ron Wilson, Troup’s head coach, expects a tough challenge from both of Saturday’s opponents.
“Wrens is always going to give you a tough game, and Swainsboro has really come on the past three or four years and made some deep runs in the state tournament as well,” Wilson said.
All of Troup’s players participated in the Troup County Parks and Recreation Commission spring season.
Many of the players are also members of a travel team that’s coached by Wilson, as well as his son Auston Wilson and Callaway head baseball coach Dusty Hubbard.
Wilson said a focus during practice has been on making sure everyone feels like they’re a part of the team.
“My guys that play travel ball have done a really good job of working with the other players,” Wilson said. “I spoked with them before when we began practicing. I told them you guys aren’t going to get any special treatment just because you play travel ball for me, and I want you to make these other guys feel welcome, and they’ve done a really good job of that.”
Wilson said he and the other coaches have also stressed the importance of representing Troup County in the right way.
“Getting prepared for the all-stars, that’s one of the things I preached to them is you’re not just representing your mom, dad, grandma and grandpa,” Wilson said. “You’re representing your community, and hopefully we’ll have an opportunity to represent our state. Right now, we’re going to represent our community.”
Wilson added that “it’s been a really good group to work with. They’re pumped.”
“They know how to work hard, yet they don’t take it too seriously,” Wilson said. “They still realized that it’s just a game, and that’s the way I want to keep it with them.”
TEAM MEMBERS: Landon Alsobrook, Bryce Hubbard, Kaden Carlisle, Jeremiah Staples, Lucas Harpole, JR Reeves, Luke Taylor, Rob Skinner, Logan Cammon, Sammari Pope, Cooper Stephens and Trevor Handsford