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Concordia 11s leave for World Series

Vidalia — It’s not uncommon for a team to be motivated to stay undefeated on their own field, but for the Concordia 11-year-old All-Stars, Longview, Texas will be their field to defend this weekend.

The All-Stars will play their first game in the World Series against East Ouachita at 11 a.m. Saturday, and assistant coach Devin Barnes said his team would live by one motto throughout the tournament.

“Every week I give them a quote, and this week’s was ‘protect our house,’” Barnes said. “Just because we’re going to Texas does not mean it’s not our house, and that’s our main focus.”

The Concordia 11s have been dominant all summer, and Barnes said his team is ready to see just how far they can go.

The All-Star team won third place in the state tournament, with a 10-9 win against Shreveport, and Barnes said they must achieve their short-term goals if they want to do well in the World Series.

“We have to win every inning, if we can do that, we’re going to succeed,” Barnes said. “We haven’t seen these Texas teams play before, but I know we can play with anybody.”

The Concordia 11s will be leaning heavily on Peyton Fort, Rhet McDonald, Brett Walsworth and Eli Brown among others, throughout the tournament.

Brown pitched a one-hitter against Shreveport, and Fort went 3-for-4 with a double.

Outside of those key players, Barnes said everyone would have to play big against equally elite squads.

“All of my players are good,” he said. “We are as strong as our weakest link, and we have no weak links. We need everybody.”

Barnes said the team has been working on some key elements in its game in preparation for the World Series, and if they implement those fundamentals, anything can happen.

“We had to work on communicating. It’s a big part of the game,” Barnes said. “They are all friends, but on the field they didn’t want to talk. We worked on bunting because, in my eyes, it’s hard to defend and that made us a better team.”