After tourney grind, Natchez 12s rest before World Series

Published 1:53 am Sunday, August 1, 2010

NATCHEZ — After spending most of the last two weeks cooped up in hotel rooms, the Natchez Dixie Youth 12-year-old All-Stars have earned themselves a well-deserved break.

And after winning the Mississippi Dixie Youth South State tournament in Magee and the State tournament in Hattiesburg, the team is getting a little down time before they begin play in the Dixie Youth World Series on Saturday.

Natchez defeated Magee 11-3 in the state championship game on Wednesday, and got a 12-day break before beginning the World Series, which is taking play in Gonzalez, La.

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That’s a far cry from the two-day break they received between the South State and State tournaments.

“We spent about 12 or 13 days in a hotel room and it was taxing on all of them,” Natchez coach Terry Moffett said. “It’s good for them to get back in their own beds, take some time off and relax. We’ll get back down to business and focusing in this week.”

The World Series opening ceremonies are Friday evening, but Natchez won’t play its first game until 7:30 p.m. Saturday, when they will take on Tennessee.

Moffett said his team’s state championship is a testament to those who have helped coach or practice with the players behind the scenes.

“This is just a good moment for every family member or friend who pulled these 12 (players) out to the park or yard and started throwing or hitting balls to them,” Moffett said. “That’s the part that seems to go unnoticed sometimes, but it doesn’t go unnoticed by me.”

Moffett was also proud of his players, which bounced back from losses in both the South State and State tournaments to come out on top.

“That’s just a tribute to them and their hard work,” Moffett said. “When you get punched in the nose, you either fight back or you’re going to get what you don’t want. And this team has always fought back.”