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Brookhaven in Dixie Boys state tourneys

The long-awaited start of the Dixie Boys Baseball League StateTournament arrives Saturday at two locations. The Brookhaven13-year-old all-stars play at Taylorsville and the Brookhaven 14splay at Laurel.

The Brookhaven 13s take on Cleveland Saturday at 1 p.m. and the14s face Moss Point at 3. Both tournaments are double-eliminationand the teams will play on Sunday, win or lose.

According to Brookhaven Dixie Baseball commissioner WeldonSmith, four teams dropped out of the 13s tournament and two out ofthe 14s. Smith attributed the reduction in entries to the highprice of gasoline and the long distance travel expenses.

13s Ready To Play

Brookhaven 13s manager Dale Lowery is optimistic about histeam’s chances in the state tournament. He said they have talentand depth.

“We practiced yesterday and this afternoon at Exchange Club,”said Lowery. “Everyone is healthy and ready to go. They are anxiousto play.

“We have a bunch of good pitchers,” continued Lowery. “We havemore who could pitch, if necessary.”

Lowery’s team went unbeaten in the district tournament, beatingNatchez once and Summit twice. His assistant coaches are Lee Barryand Scott Ashley. All-stars include Calvin Robinson, Gib Britt,Tyler Lumley, Brandon Allen, Travis Sorrels, Cade McCullough, MacLowery, Matt Smith, Cameron Barry, Kyle Cross, Gage Wilson, CarrTigner and Grant Burke.

14s Anxious To Start

Manager Terry Britt’s team took a few days off before startingpractice for the state tournament. He wanted to give them a breakfrom the mental and physical demands of baseball.

“The mental part is most important,” said Britt. “Many of themhave been playing (baseball) since January. We need to be mentallyfresh and ready to have some fun Saturday.”

Britt said his squad was focused and anxious to get started. “Weare rested and fired up and ready to play. We want to get the armsready and get our eyes on the ball,” said Britt. “Basically, it’sjust play ball.”

Asked about his team’s strengths, Britt said, “We have awell-balanced team. We have good hitting, pitching and defense. Ithink we will do well in the state tournament.”

Britt praised the work of his two assistants, John Floyd andDarrell Rushing. “My assistant coaches do a lot of the work. I owea lot of credit to those two guys.”

The 14s all-star team members are Dehendret Collins, JeffreyJones, Zach Williams, Matt Magee, Travis Leggett, Ryan Kennedy,Brett Rushing, T.J. Floyd, Michael Martin, Cody Smith, LeeboBairfield, Colton Laird and Tyler Case.

“We also have some dads who are helping out with us,” saidBritt. “They volunteered to chase fly balls and do a lot of otherthings.”