Ferriday Dixie Youth beginning title hunt

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 21, 2008

Gilbert — Tuesday the Ferriday Dixie Youth 7-and 8-year-olds began their search of a state machine pitch championship.

If they hope to make it to the state tournament in Alexandria, they’ll have to make it out of the 7-team District 5 South region in Gilbert.

Also in the region are the Vidalia Americans, Vidalia Nationals, South Franklin, Winnsboro Americans, Winnsboro Nationals and Catahoula.

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Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the team participated in round robin games, going 4-2.

“Our team has come together like a finely tuned engine and everybody’s hitting and fielding,” Ferriday Dixie Youth league president Gary Hinton said. “We have a lot of talent and each and every player has something to bring to the team.”

Because of their success in the round robin portion of the tournament, Ferriday was given the No. 2 seed for the double-elimination portion of the tournament which started Friday night.

Hinton, who is a member of a coaching by committee with Tim Downs, Randi Poole and ToJo Champion, said he thinks his team can make a successful run at bringing home a title.

“This team has just as good of a chance as the No. 1 team,” Hinton said. “As long as the boys continue to play together as a team I don’t see why we can’t go to state.”

A trip to the state tournament wouldn’t be the first time for the Ferriday Dixie Youth program. Two years ago the team made a successful run and was able to get to the final round of games.

Hinton, who has been in the press box for 17 years, and associated with Ferriday Dixie Youth program for 22 years, is making his coaching debut this season — and has made a quick bond with his coaches.

“They’ve taught me a lot in the three weeks and we all coach really well together,” Hinton said. “We all agree on the decisions that we make. The way we have our players right now, they’re batting and fielding extremely well together.”

Friday night, the team didn’t play as Hinton had hoped, dropping the game 15-1 to Catahoula.

If the team can get back in the win column tomorrow at 7 p.m. against the Winnsboro American team, they may have a chance at playing in the district championship game either Wednesday or Thursday.