7-year-olds selected as all-stars

Published 12:01am Friday, June 28, 2013

NATCHEZ — Seven-year-olds who may not have made the initial all-star cut in the Natchez Dixie Youth coach-pitch league will still be getting an all-star experience.

Dixie Youth coach Tim Cotton and coach-pitch commissioner Michael Anderson recently implemented a 7-year-old all-star squad, in which 24 children were selected and divided into two teams, red and blue. They will host a game at 7 p.m. today at Duncan Park.

Normally, Dixie Youth coaches in the coach-pitch league select 12 all-stars to compete in postseason play. The coach-pitch league is made up of 7- and 8-year-olds, with the 7-year-olds being only a year removed from tee ball, while the 8-year-olds are more used to taking pitches from a machine. With a year’s worth of more experience, Cotton said the 8-year-olds have more of an advantage when it comes to being selected for postseason play.

“It’s hard for 7-year-olds to make an all-star team that’s usually filled with 8-year-olds,” Cotton said. “They work just as hard as the older players and deserve something for it. It’s only right to have a 7-year-old all-star game to let the children play,” Cotton said.

Natchez Dixie Youth coach-pitch commissioner Michael Anderson said the game will operate like any other Dixie Youth game.

“There will be concessions and an umpire, just like the season games,” Anderson said.

The children will be sporting all-star shirts funded by Cotton.

“(I want the) 7-year-olds to walk around feeling like they’re important — and that’s the way it should be,” Cotton said.

Anderson said he was impressed with Cotton’s determination in getting a 7-year-old all-star squad formed.

“Tim is a really good coach, and he took the ball and ran with it,” Anderson said. “He’s giving the 7-years-old who didn’t make the all-star team, a chance to play in front of their peers and have good thoughts about the Dixie Youth league.”

Anderson also said he can see the league making this an annual event.

“This is our first year trying it, and this is something we can do each year to give children more playing time,” Anderson said.