Local youth team goes undefeated to claim championship

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, May 23, 2017

If winning the Natchez Dixie Youth T-ball championship wasn’t enough for Robert Segrest and his 11-member youth baseball team, perhaps going undefeated was seemingly fit.

Segrest, alongside assistant coaches, Jimmy Mullins, Sterling Gay and Josh Beach, led River City Auto-Plex to the 6-and-under title by posting a record of 14-0.

“I got lucky and got the combination of kids right,” Segrest said. “We had a pretty outstanding group. They were super excited.”

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Segrest said he never thought River City would win all of its games, but he said he began to realize their impact when he noticed other coaches watching his team.

Members of the team were Ayden Warner, Caleb Romans, Daniel Read, Eli Segrest, Garner Gay, Jax Beach, Lucas Mullins, Miles Robinson, Slade Wheeler, Tessa Beesley and Tiger Kharasin.

“They were coming after us hard,” he said. “Everyone is out to beat you, so you have to keep the momentum. (The kids) knew what it was about. They knew they had to be competitive no matter what they do.”

Their undefeated season came down to the last game, too, Segrest said.

River City defeated Super Auto Glass, 28-14, on May 15 and then played them again last Thursday for the final contest of the season.

Despite facing a familiar opponent, Segrest said he wasn’t sure if River City would secure the concluding victory, yet ultimately came out on top, 21-11.

“We struggled pretty hard in the last game,” he said. “Up to the last inning I knew they had a chance to win. The biggest challenge was keeping them in the game. I told them to do what they were taught to do and not get in a hurry. They stayed in it and found a way.”

With young players, Segrest said he would not have had such an impressive season without the help of his assistant coaches. He said with their aid, the children were able to receive more one-on-one support.

“I think sometimes the coach can make or break a kid to want to play sports,” Segrest said. “I believe it takes every coach to give them the attention they need. Without them, I would have never made it.”