Home run hitters abound in Concordia Dixie Youth

Published 12:09 am Wednesday, June 2, 2010

VIDALIA — Vidalia has been having power surges throughout the spring.

But there is no need to call the electricity department. This power has been produced by 10-year old baseball players.

The Concordia Parish Dixie Youth 10-year old league has seen nine players combine to hit 29 home runs over the fence this year, with Landon Havard and Cameron King combining for 21 of those.

“It’s not often that you have 10 year olds who are able to do that,” said David Havard, Landon’s father and a volunteer with Concordia Dixie Youth. “It’s really excited the heck out of those kids. These kids are punching the ball 275 feet out of the park.”

In addition to Havard and King, Jerrious Scott, Casey Cupit, Christian Fort, Lee Lancaster, Phillip Burkett, Coulten Wilson and Walker Wheeler have hit homers over the fence this season.

But of all the home run hitters in the 10-year old league, Havard and King stand out above the rest.

Landon Havard has pounded 13 balls over the fence while King has produced eight home runs.

Both players attribute their home run displays to hard work and practice.

“You just have to work at it,” Landon said. “My dad works with me in the batting cage, working on my stance and teaching me how to see the ball. It takes a long time to learn and a lot of practice.”

Practice has also paid off for King.

“My coach and daddy work with me a lot and teach me how to hit,” King said. “When I get up to hit, I just swing like they tell me to and I hit it on the sweet spot.”

Landon said he was pleasantly surprised by his 13 home runs this season.

“I’ve worked with a lot of people and they told me I had a lot of power behind by bat, but I really didn’t understand,” he said. “But I’ve learned how to get my stance right and get comfortable at the plate and hit the ball well. Sometimes it gets complicated.”

And when he gets a hold of one, it’s like no other feeling, Landon said.

“It feels great to know you just hit the ball over the fence,” he said. “And you know if you go up there and try your best, you’ll do it again.”

Ten-year olds pounding home runs over the fence isn’t something often seen, so Havard and King’s prodigious power have gained them some amount of celebrity at the ball park.

“The kids all gather around the fence when (Landon) gets up to bat,” David Havard said. “They all come to the dugout and talk to him about his home runs. I always tell him, don’t get the big head and think you’re better than everybody else.”

While the home run hitters might be the might be the attention getters, David Havard said the entire league has enjoyed a great season.

“It’s a wonderful league over here,” he said. “All the parents work together and the coaches are just wonderful to be around.”

David Havard said both the Concordia and the Natchez Dixie Youth League are fun for players, no matter how talented they are.

“This is a fortunate thing for the kids in the area to have good leagues in Vidalia and Natchez,” Havard said. “Some may not be able to hit home runs and may just get one hit during the year, but they still get to participate. That’s what kind of program we’ve got in both Vidalia and Natchez.”