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Concordia Dixie Youth All Stars are in play

By TIM GUERCIO

THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT

VIDALIA — You can hear the baseball sounds of catchers mitts popping and the ring of bats making contact with the ball at the Concordia Sports Complex.

The Concordia baseball All-Stars have taken over the complex for practice and All-Star coaches are getting their teams ready to play in their respective tournament brackets.

All age groups are on the many fields at the complex and are practicing from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday Mike Bowlin said.

Bowlin is president of Concordia Dixie Youth and has been at the helm for a long time.

“This is my 27th year as president,” Bowlin said. “After the season is over I work to get all of our teams into the necessary tournaments. I take care of the paperwork that is required for our players, and I help in ordering the All-Stars’ uniforms too.”

Taking the responsibility of coaching the 5- and 6-year-old T-Ball team is Cade Craft.

T-Ball All-Star teams will go directly into the state tournament, Craft said.

“We will travel to Shreveport for our double elimination tournament on July 4 through the 7,” Craft said.

Competing in their sub-district first round is the team of 7- and 8-year-old, coach-pitch All-Stars, which are coached by Whest Shirley.

The team will play in Jonesville on June 21-23, and with only four teams in the playoffs, they all will advance to district play in Winnsboro, on a date to be determined, Bowlin said.

The head coach for the 9 and 10 year olds is Brian Chandler.

Competing 9 and 10 year olds will be at home, as their tournament will be played at the Concordia Complex on June 22-24, Bowlin said.

“The 9- and 10-year-old age group will consist of a 12-team tournament, double elimination,” Bowlin said, “and you’re going to have to win a lot to get to the championship game.”

The head coach for the 11 and 12 year olds is Rob Rushing, who will have the task for the third time.

Their double elimination tournament will be held in Monroe on June 28-30 and July 1-2, with a six-team bracket that calls for six wins to get to the championship game.

“We have a real good ball club, and I think everybody will play hard and have fun, too,” Rushing said.

Rushing pointed out three players out of his 12-man roster.

“Ethan Keith is a power hitter that will bat clean up for us,” Rushing said. “Parker Roach is a tough ball player, and I’d put him up against anybody pound for pound. Riley Roach is our catcher and I don’t think anyone wants to steal on him. He will come up throwing every time.”