B&K Dixie Youth team thrives on hard work, dedication

Published 12:19 am Friday, May 21, 2010

NATCHEZ — At first glance, the B&K Bank Dixie Youth team might seem a little too experienced for their league.

It’s not that the children look significantly bigger than the rest of the ages 11 and 12 division. It’s just that they field the ball about as crisply as a major league ball player would.

After beating Premo Stallone 15-7 Thursday, B&K improved to 13-1 on the season. B&K coach Gary Farmer said the record and good fundamentals are a testament to the type of players he has.

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“These boys are disciplined, they work hard, are out here practicing four days a week, do what you tell them to and don’t complain,” Farmer said.

“You can tell all of these things when they play. I say all the time, the harder you work, the luckier you are in games. That’s a testament to them, and to my coaches. I have four good coaches that are dedicated to these kids.”

Only five of Farmer’s 13 players have played for him in the past, but Farmer said all of them have come to learn what they’re required to have.

“Respect, discipline and hard work. Those three things are what are expected of them. And we always preach that, win or lose, we’re going to act like winners. I never have a problem with them not giving the other team high five,” Farmer said.

In addition, it’s not uncommon for one B&K player to pat another on the back and encourage him after making an out or an error.

“That’s absolutely something we try to instill in them. I tell them, we’re all 11 and 12, we’re going to make errors, strike out and get out,” Farmer said.

“I told all 13 of them that we’re a team, and we’re going to pick each other up. You can have the best ball players, but not the best team. We may not have the best player, but we have the best team. We have a great bunch of kids and parents, and that’s always a blessing.”

Byron Garrity, whose son Daniel, 11, plays for B&K, says Farmer has a special quality that allows him to get the best out of his players.

“He just has a way of motivating kids. It takes a certain knack and insight to know where to play a player, and he has that knack,” Garrity said.

“Every position on the field has specific sets of assignments. Some can pick those assignments up well and others can’t, and he does a good job of figuring out who should play where.”

Farmer said that ability comes from simply letting the children sort out themselves.

“When we start practice, there’s not a position won. Everyone gets a chance to play where they want to,” Farmer said.

“Now, two weeks in, we’ll start to narrow it down. They really just decide for themselves. I tell them, we’re out here to win, not make daddy happy.”

And with that in mind, Farmer said he shows no favoritism to his son Brock, 11, when making those decisions.

“I’m always rough on him. In fact, I’m rougher on him than any of the other players, so it’s never hard for me to coach in terms of showing favoritism,” Farmer said.