This year, they’ll look to cross the threshold.
In 2011, the Troup County National 9-10-year-old all-star team advanced to the Dixie Youth Baseball state-championship game before falling short.
Beginning Saturday, Troup National will begin its quest to capture the state title it came so close to winning a year ago.
Troup National will take on Manchester at 10 a.m. in the opening round of the Dixie Youth Baseball District 1 tournament at the George F. Harris Baseball Complex.
The top-two finishers in the double-elimination tournament advance to state.
Kyle Crawford, who returns as the Troup National head coach, said the team isn’t looking ahead to a possible state title.
“We’re going to take it one game at a time,” Crawford said. “Our first focus is against Manchester. We’ll play our best and pitch our best and get after it.”
There’s no doubt expectations are high for this team, though.
Nearly all of the players on the team have all-star experience.
Four of the players, Luke Swann, Charles Crawford, Zach Turner and Jordan Ogletree, were on last year’s state runnerup team.
A handful of other players were on the Hogansville team that also advanced to the state tournament.
“We’ve got a lot of experience on this team,” Crawford said. “We’re an older group. We’ve got mostly 10-year-olds. It’s exciting.”
To prepare for tournament play, Troup National has participated in a number of scrimmages, including one on Wednesday against another 9-10-year-old all-star team.
Troup was impressive in notching 10 runs.
“The boys played tough,” Crawford said. “It was a scrimmage, so we mixed up the lineup and moved everybody around and had different kids pitch in different scenarios. We played good defense.”
Troup has also scrimmaged against a team from Roanoke (Ala.), and it also played a Troup 11-12-year-old all-star team.
“The boys are playing together well so far, and I think we’re sharp going into Saturday against Manchester,” Crawford said.