T.M. Jennings teams prepare for state tourney

Published 12:04 am Tuesday, July 13, 2010

NATCHEZ — The T.M. Jennings Little League All-Star teams didn’t have much time to practice together, but you sure couldn’t tell it by watching them play last weekend.

The 9-10-year-old and 11-12-year-old teams breezed through the Little League District 1 tournament undefeated despite only having a couple of days to practice together.

With the wins, the two teams advanced to the state tournament, which will take place in either D’Iberville, Gulfport or Biloxi beginning July 23.

“We actually only had two days of practice,” 11-12-year-old coach Deselle Davis said. “The kids crammed and worked hard. They were very dedicated and focused.”

Natchez 9-10-year-old coach Ernest Woods Sr. said the camaraderie of the players made up for the lack of practice time.

“We really had to come together quick,” Woods said. “We didn’t get to really practice like we wanted because we had some storms blow through. But it really made me feel good seeing the cohesion we gained from just a couple of days of practice.”

T.M. Jennings league director Eric Fry said the hard work the players and coaches put in really paid off with the district championships.

“They practiced hard and were rewarded for practicing hard,” Fry said. “They put in some long hours preparing for district and it paid off in a big way.”

Fry also gave credit to the parents and coaches who he said were instrumental in the success of not only the All-Star teams, but the entire league this year.

“The coaches are all volunteer, and are doing all this for the kids,” Fry said. “They don’t have to do it, but they do and take the time to help the kids.”

Fry said it wasn’t only the kids that put in hard work this year, but also the parents.

“I just want to thank the parents,” Fry said. “Without them, this wouldn’t happen. Hard work is what they put into it, and that is what it takes to keep the community strong.”