Since then they’ve waited for the next challenge.
The wait is almost over.
On Friday, the team will make the trek to Carthage, N.C. for the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series, with the first game set for Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against the South Carolina state champion.
Since beating Thomaston to win the state title, the players have filled their time practicing, scrimmaging, taking part in fundraisers, and participating in school activities.
Many of the players on the team play middle-school football, so they’ve had to split their time between baseball and football.
“It’s kind of hard keeping them focused on what we have to do,” head coach Bill Johnson said. “School is starting back, and they’re playing middle-school football.”
But Johnson added that “when we get them on the ballfield or in the cages, they’re ready to go to work. They’re excited, and they want to do well.”
The final week before the World Series is being spent raising money and fine-tuning some things on the practice field.
The team participated in a fund-raiser at Chick-Fil-A on Monday, and the players will be at Moe’s today.
Last week, the team took part in a fund-raiser at Jim Bob’s.
For the fundraisers this week, Johnson said “we’ll split the boys up. We take half to practice while half are at fundraisers.”
On Wednesday and Thursday, all of the players will be together for the final practices at the Harris Baseball Complex.
Johnson said Wednesday’s practice will focus on “drills, base-running, really fine-tuning before we leave.”
On Thursday, Johnson said “we’ll hit in the cage and pretty much go over and make sure they know what to do with signs and that kind of stuff.”
Friday morning, the caravan will leave for Carthage, and that evening, Troup’s players will participate in the opening ceremony, as well as three skills competitions, highlighted by the home-run derby.
Troup has plenty of candidates for the home-run derby since it hit more than 20 homers in the state tournament.
“We’ve got a lot of choices with that,” Johnson said.
And then on Saturday, it’s game time.
Troup County, which will be representing Georgia, is one of 11 state champions participating in the tournament, and the host community also has a team.
It’ll be a double-elimination tournament, with the championship game set for Thursday.
Johnson said the players, most of whom have participated in the World Series before, will enjoy the festivities that go along with the event, but they’ll be ready to go when the bell rings.
“It’s fun, but they know it’s not their main focus,” Johnson said. “Saturday is what they’re there for.”