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Brook 14s all-stars represent Miss. in Dixie World Series

Hitch your dreams to a star and fly away!

Congratulations!

The Brookhaven Dixie Boys Baseball 14-year-old all-star squadmade history last week, winning the state tournament atTaylorsville, going undefeated.

Better yet, the Brookhaven all-stars qualified for the DixieBoys World Series. It starts Saturday in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Brookhaven, representing Mississippi, plays the Louisiana statechampion at 4 p.m. Saturday. The double-elimination tournamentfeatures 11 state champion teams, plus the host Grand Prairiesquad.

In other opening round games, Virginia plays Georgia, SouthCarolina meets Arkansas, Texas meets North Carolina, Tennesseetackles Florida and Alabama faces Grand Prairie. Two fields will beused at the Lone Star Complex.

Weather permitting, the tournament is expected to run throughAug. 10.

Certainly, Brookhaven manager/head coach Terry Britt andassistant coaches John Floyd and Darrell Rushing have done anoutstanding job coaching the youth. All of them are excited aboutmaking the trip.

The Brookhaven all-star squad includes Tyler Case, DehendricCollins, T.J. Floyd, J.J. Jones, Ryan Kennedy, Colton Laird, TravisLeggett, Matt Magee, Michael Martin, Cody Smith, Brett Rushing andZach Williams.

Not only will they be representing Brookhaven, they’ll bepromoting the Magnolia State. Mississippi is known around the worldfor its outstanding athletes. Brookhaven has produced a number ofathletic greats over the years and these young men are following inthe footsteps of history.

Whatever happens in Texas, they will have great memories to lasta lifetime.

High school football players huffed, puffed and grunted througha series of exhausting, daily drills as preseason practice kickedoff this week. Many of them wished they had worked harder duringthe offseason conditioning programs.

Welcome to Mississippi. The afternoon heat feels like you areabout one mile from the sun. Morning heat and humidity are muchkinder, if you are fortunate to find a breeze.

Most football practice fields are treeless. There is no shade atthe 50-yard line or in the end zone. You often see players standingin the shade of a towering light pole. It resembles army soldierslining up single file, hoping to elude the sun’s angry rays.

Water, once forbidden at football practice, now is generouslydistributed amongst the players. Some coaches let players totetheir own 2-liter plastic bottle for refreshment.

Nowadays, coaches are much more aware of the dangers in heatexhaustion. Drink water, lots of it; before and after practice.

For sure, the weather won’t provide much relief until lateSeptember.

Also struggling through the heat are area high school girlsslowpitch softball teams. Many of them launch their 2006 campaignsthis weekend with Classic games/tournaments, sanctioned by theMississippi High School Activities Association. West Lincoln ishosting Classic tournament Friday and Saturday. Brookhaven’stourney is Saturday.

Willie Brown left Hazlehurst in a bind, but the Indians aremaking the best of a difficult situation. Brown was hired to coachfootball at Greenville Weston last Friday.

By the way, preseason practice officially began Monday.Hazlehurst athletic director Gary Tabor said the remaining coachesand players are busy practicing as they prepare for the 2006 seasonopener Aug. 25.

Last season Brown directed the Indians to a perfect 13-0 recordand their first Class 3A state championship. Hazlehurst graduatedsome exceptional players but they will have a solid groupreturning, among them preseason all-state defensive lineman JazmenGuy and quarterback Bobby Moore.

Tabor said the Hazlehurst school board meets Tuesday and couldannounce a new head coach. In the meantime, assistant coaches BrianMiles and Andre Carter are leading the Indians throughpractice.

Jay Norals is the new superintendent of education at Hazlehurst,replacing Henry Dorsey who retired.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O.BOX 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602 or e-mailsports@dailyleader.com