Dixie Boys prepare for district title defense in solid tourney field

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 6, 2001

Finding that winning formula has eluded many. Coach Joe Eidt’s 14-year-old Natchez Dixie Boys All Stars captured it last year at this time, winning the district tournament and advancing to the state tournament, where the team finished in second place.

The team will be looking for it again this weekend at Liberty Park, as Natchez hosts a seven-team field that will determine who goes to the state tourney.

&uot;We’ve got the experience. We know what it takes,&uot; said Eidt. &uot;It’s whether we put it together.&uot;

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Eidt shouldn’t have a hard time doing that, as 12 of the 13 players are returnees from last year’s squad. But he does have one problem: too many good players.

&uot;My big dilemma is, and it’s a problem I like to have, is who to start,&uot; Eidt said. &uot;We got 13 great ballplayers on the team, and they all can play every position.&uot;

However, Eidt has run into a small problem: the preparation of his club.

&uot;I thought we’d be a little more game-hungry,&uot; he said. &uot;That’s what makes good champions: practice and being prepared. They’re going to have to step it up.&uot;

Other teams in the tourney are Brookhaven, Wilk-Amite, Franklin County, Copiah County, Claiborne County and Summit.

The tourney will be a tough road for Natchez.

Wilk-Amite – a team consisting of Amite county and Wilkinson County players – and Copiah are two teams that Natchez didn’t play in last year’s event. And Summit is a good team that is looking to knock off Natchez.

&uot;I don’t look for them (all the teams) to come over and lay down,&uot; Eidt noted. &uot;We’ve heard word . . . they’re (Summit) is coming after us.

&uot;We’ll have to play our best ball to make it to the state tournament. It’s not cakewalk.&uot;