NC team has its chance to shine
It’s been 13 years since the last time a team from Newton County has been able to call itself the best of the best, but that’s exactly what this year’s local 13-under Junior Dixie Boys team has a chance to do. The Newton County 13-under All-Star team captured the Georgia title Tuesday and will try to become the first team to bring a Dixie Boys World Series title back to Covington since the 1998 Dixie Boys Minor team won it all. The NC All-Stars travel to Seneca, S.C., July 30 to open tournament play against Virginia.
Many of you may remember how critical I have been of the local recreation all-star teams in the recent past. If you can’t, I have basically said in so many words that by having so many all-star teams, we dilute the talent pool and don’t put the best 12-15 players on one team. The county has had as many as three teams playing in the same tournament. Sure, three teams seems to give the county three opportunities to win. But I said then that was too many and we should have instead put together one great team.
Now the county has a chance to prove me wrong. With this year’s 13-under team having won the state tournament, it is in prime position to capture the national title. Ironically, these are some of the same players who played on those teams I was critical of that also finished runner up in the state tournament to Troup County. Also ironically, Newton County had only one team in this tournament. Maybe I was right after all, and the coaches did consolidate the best players on one team. Consider this, too, none of the three coaches have sons who play on the team.
Regardless of what has transpired since last year’s state tournament at City Pond Park, I am glad we have a team poised to make a run at a national title. Winning a Dixie Boys World Series is the pinnacle of recreation baseball in our community. It would mean a lot to the city and to the Newton County Recreation Com-
mission. I know NCRC director Tommy Hailey is immensely proud of the team and everyone over at Turner Lake is excited for this team. There’s no question Newton County has its share of talented baseball players. Just look at how successful Alcovy and Eastside high schools have been over the past few years and last year’s Conyers Post 77 American Legion, stocked with several local players, won the state tournament and had a similar opportunity to win nationally. Newton County is certainly a hotbed for baseball talent.
The 13-under team has already left its mark as state champions. Twenty years from now, that won’t change. Now let’s see if the team can bring home the ultimate prize. Win or lose, we here at The News are proud of the team's accomplishments this year. Now go up there and see if you can bring us back the big prize. Good luck in Seneca.