World Series awaits Natchez

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 3, 2001

The Natchez 13-year-old Dixie Boys All-Stars begin another road trip today. But it’s one the team doesn’t mind taking.

The Natchez All-Stars team – make that the Mississippi All-Stars team – departs for Sulphur, La., and the Dixie Boys World Series this morning at 7:30 a.m. The team will arrive in Sulphur, just outside of Lake Charles, and begin opening ceremonies tonight. The team’s first game is Saturday at 5:30 p.m. against Virginia.

&uot;It’s hard to hold back the excitement now,&uot; said coach Tim Foster. &uot;It’s getting closer.&uot;

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The World Series includes state championship teams from Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida and North Carolina. The host city also gets a bid to the tournament.

Foster and eight players are looking to improve upon last year’s fourth place finish at the 11- and12-year old DixieYouth World Series. Five new players join the old crew for the ride.

&uot;There are eight who know what it takes,&uot; Foster said. &uot;They’re going to help the other guys.&uot;

Foster said the World Series atmosphere will be unique. At the opening ceremonies, teams are paraded to the field in a fashion similar to the Olympics. Local radio and newspaper crews cover the event heavily. And the quality of the baseball diamonds are top-notch.

The team has practiced every day this week. Tuesday’s showers wrecked fielding practice plans, but the squad still picked up time in the batting cage at Cathedral High.

Hitting has been the strength of the state champs, as it 10-run ruled opponents in four out of five contests at the state tournament. As a result, World Series opponents know that the Natchez boys are a good-hitting bunch.

&uot;They’ve probably done their homework and seen we’ve ten-runned four teams. That tells them we’re good hitters,&uot; Foster said.

&uot;They’re good all-around teams, just like us. We’ll see who will endure.&uot;