Concordia 10s dedicate season to deceased father of teammatePublished 12:01am Saturday, July 7, 2012
VIDALIA — The Concordia Parish 10-year-old All-Stars will be playing with heavy hearts but focused minds tomorrow, when they take the field in the first game of their district tournament.
And when adversity pops its ugly head, the young players will only have to look down at their right arms to draw inspiration to push them through.
Michael Cupit, the father of Concordia second baseman Alden Cupit, died Tuesday, and the team is honoring his memory by playing with the initials “MC” on their uniforms during the tournament.
“We have dedicated the tournament to him,” Concordia assistant coach Wayne Harveston said.
Concordia will start its tournament run at 7 p.m. today at the Vidalia baseball complex when the team faces Rayville.
On the diamond, the players will look to carry their three weeks of practice over to game situations, head coach Christal McGlothin said.
“We started with a lot of shortstops, pitchers and catchers that we are trying to make into other positions,” McGlothin said. “We have good pitching and defense, but I’m a little worried about our batting. We are either all hitting or no one is.”
McGlothin, who is also Alden’s mother, said early in practice there were times when the players were upset about position changes, but with game day here, the team has bought into the lineup.
“We had four or five catchers and had to cut it down to two,” she said. “Some were upset, and there were some tears, because everyone wanted to play catcher, but we have good attitudes and now they are OK with changing positions.”
McGlothin said her team has grown tired of practice and the few practice games they have played and are ready for the real thing today.
“They are very excited, and we are glad to have (the tournament) here (in Vidalia),” she said. “There are not a whole lot of 10-year-olds in our league, but they have really surprised us, and they have come a long way. I think they have a great chance of advancing.”
McGlothin said the team had an abundance of pitchers to go with its number of catchers. She said having so many children available to pitch is both good and bad.
“We’ve got a lot of pitching and experience,” she said. “It is important with inning restrictions, but we didn’t like having eight pitchers. We had all the ones that want to pitch, and we need them because if you pitch more than three innings in a game you have to wait 36 hours (to pitch again). But we had to narrow it down to the best four or five.”
McGlothin said the lineup is still a bit of a mystery to her, even with tonight’s game looming.
“They are definitely all capable of playing several positions, and I still don’t know who’s going to start in a couple of places.”
Win or lose, Concordia will take the field again Sunday in the eight-team, double-elimination tournament. The top two teams in the tournament will advance to the state tournament. The top team will head to Alexandria, La., while the second-place team will play in Ponchatoula, La.