Believe, with us, in these All-Stars

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank a very special group of young men.

The Natchez Dixie Youth 12-year-old All-Star team is a group of hard working, sincere, polite and talented young men who are about to represent Natchez in the Mississippi Dixie Youth South State Regional Baseball Tournament in Hattiesburg.

This is truly a team of which Natchez should be very proud. These young men and their families literally gave up their summer and devoted the time to baseball.

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The hours of practice both with the team and on their own is remarkable. The grueling road out of district 6 and on to South State was astonishing. This team played six games in five days in the top heavy north sub-district of district 6.

Along the way, they were the only team without a bye and beat an extremely talented Franklin County team twice on their home field on a magical Friday night to win the sub-district.

They won the district 6 championship by beating an extremely good Pine Hills team. The uniqueness of this team is that there are no superstars, no prima donnas and no arrogance. They are selfless.

There is usually a different hero every night. There was that night that Phillip Roberts battled to get on base to set up a game winning base hit by Reed White to survive the first game of the Friday night sub-district semi-final to force a second deciding game.

There was that night that Gage Dossett went five for five with two home runs in a double header against Pine Hills. Gabe Smith and Brock Farmer combined to throw a no-hitter in the second game that night to win the district crown. There was that night that Zach Flattmann hit a double, a three-run home run and a grand slam home run in the same game.

How about Sam Parker’s dominance on the mound in the sub-district tournament or Cole Mosby’s string of doubles?

Christian Day’s inside the park home run in district was only eclipsed by his brilliant play at shortstop. Dalvion Jackson proved twice in sub-district that no park is a match for his awesome power.

How about the night that Cooper Murray went deep to centerfield in Gloster?

We cannot forget the night that Jace Calcote baffled a team of great hitters with his menacing curve ball.

All were very special moments coming at just the right time. They punched their ticket to south state through hard work and perseverance, and they earned the right to travel to Hattiesburg.

They have advanced this far because they believe! That has been their creed.

They believe in their team, their coaches, their families and their community. Mostly, they believe in themselves. I am asking you to believe as well.

Please support these fine young men who represent Natchez with class and dignity. You can support this team by checking out their Facebook page — Natchez Dixie Youth 12 Year Old Allstars — and by tuning into Kiss 97.3 this Friday at 2 p.m. to keep up with the action in their first game of the south state tournament.

They play as a team and they play for each other. They play for the name on the front of their jersey, not the back. They play for Natchez! Best of luck to the Natchez Dixie Youth 12-year-old All-Stars! Believe.

Dr. Geoffrey J. Flattmann is the father of All-Star Zach Flattmann and a team fan.