Dixie 13 All-Stars begin tournament play Sunday

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 20, 2000

After capturing the Dixie Boys 13-year old district championship last week versus the host Summit All-Stars, the Natchez 13-year-old All Stars now are turning their attention towards a bigger prize – the state tournament..

The tournament starts Saturday. However, Natchez will not play until Sunday at 2 p.m. against the winner of the Pascagoula-Kosicusko game.

Natchez head coach Joe Joe Eidt says while his team was a bit rusty he sees signs of improvement.

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&uot;I just wanted to give them a few days off to rest sore arms and just rest them period,&uot; Eidt said. &uot;To be honest, they were a little rusty when they got back out on the field, but Wednesday, they showed a lot of improvement and with a couple of more practices and one more day off we should be ready.&uot;

Eidt said he thinks even though his team drew a first-round bye, it will still be tough for them.

&uot;We did catch a break in getting that first-round bye, but we are in the tougher of the two brackets,&uot; he said. &uot;I know we’ve got a good team, and the team knows they’re good. It’s just a matter of whether or not they come ready to play everyday.&uot;

Eidt, who coached the Dixie Youth 9-10 All-Stars to the state championship in 1998, said he thinks this team is in a lot of ways similar to the 1998 team.

&uot;We’ve got a lot of the same players from 1998 as we have this year, and there are some teams in this tournament coming up like Southwest Rankin and Greenwood that we saw in 1998, so we know how we’re going to approach a few of these games,&uot; he said.

Eidt said his team &uot;showed a lot of heart and a lot of character in winning the district tournament the way they did, and I feel like we can only get better.&uot;

Eidt also said not to expect any low-scoring games in the state tournament.

&uot;These teams wouldn’t be here if they couldn’t hit the ball,&uot; he said. &uot;It’s just the nature of the beast, but I feel like the defense is what will win this tournament for us.&uot;

If we do the little things right, that will make the difference.&uot;