They’ve practiced, they’ve drilled, they’ve talked strategy, and they’ve played a bunch of scrimmage games.
Now it’s time to play for keeps.
The Troup County 7-8-year-old all-star team will be one of four teams competing in the double-elimination Dixie Youth Baseball District 1 tournament on Saturday and Sunday at the Harris Baseball Complex.
Two of the four teams will advance to the state tournament in Fort Oglethorpe, and the state champion will move on to the World Series.
The other three teams competing are Hogansville, Thomaston and Manchester.
After a month’s worth of practices, Troup head coach Chad Bolding said the team is ready.
“I practice them hard,” Boling said. “I gave them a break for a few days. I could tell we were kind of going down a little bit. You give them a break, let them refresh a little while, and then we got back at it, and we play this weekend.”
All of the players on the team participated in the Troup County Parks and Recreation Commission spring league, and a lot of them are also are a part of a travel-ball team that Bolding coaches.
“The baseball knowledge out here is pretty good,” Bolding said. “They’ve had a lot of coaching, a lot of instruction. They’ve all come together and blended real well.”
Bolding said at this age, it’s all about teaching, of giving the players a firm foundation in the fundamentals.
“My goal is, win or lose, I want them to learn,” Bolding said. “I want them to have fun, but I wan them to be disciplined and learn.” Troup County will open its tournament stay on Saturday against Manchester at 10 a.m.
Also at 10 a.m., Thomaston and Hogansville will play.
At noon, the winners of the early games will face off, and the two losers will also play at noon.
At 2 p.m., the two remaining one-loss teams will meet in an elimination game.
The two surviving teams will play at 4 p.m. on Sunday, and if needed, a final game would be played at 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Bolding said he appreciates the different sponsors who have helped out financially.
He said they’ve helped with “uniforms, equipment, travel, everything. They’ve really helped.”
OF NOTE: The Dixie Boys Baseball 11-12-year-old tournament gets under way on Saturday in Thomaston, and the Dixie Youth Baseball 9-10-year-old tournament begins June 29 in Manchester. Troup County will have two teams in each tournament.