Second baseman Bryson Monteith has thought it over, and he does believe he and the Troup National All-Stars are good enough to win the state championship in the Dixie Youth Baseball 11 & 12-year-old division.
Monteith and Troup National will get the chance to find out if they are the best team in Georgia during the next few days in tournament play in Roberta (near Macon). The Troup National All-Stars, who are tournament- tested, will get another gut check and game on Saturday morning at 11 o’clock against the host team, Crawford County.
There is not one player on Troup National that doesn’t think it could wind up with the second straight 11 & 12 state championship for the LaGrange area. The Hogansville All-Stars were the state baseball champions last summer.
Monteith would like to continue that West Georgia trend. Monteith feels like the Troup National team has what it takes to push its way to the top.
“We can hit. We can play good defense. Most everybody is making contact (for us). We need to get the ball out of the infield,” said Monteith.
Troup National center fielder and third baseman Steven Hill is also feeling good heading into the home stretch of the state tournament. And Hill has seen his team handle the ifs, ands and maybes in the state tournament during Troup National’s first three games in Roberta.
The all-stars out of La-Grange have waxed Manchester and West Augusta in the process. Troup National also lost to Seminole County in a back and forth contest.
“We have fought hard, and we have scored a lot of runs (28). We’re fast and good, but we still have to play hard,” said Hill during a practice earlier this week in LaGrange.
Rocky Pemberton, the lean and crafty pitcher and left fielder for Troup National, believes, as well, this tournament will end for his team on an upswing.
“We’re taking some good at-bats. We’re confident, and we’re better than them,” Pemberton said of the remainder of the state tournament teams.
Avery Hewell, Troup National’s right fielder, is ready to win a state title, too. Hewell remains a cog in the all-star baseball machine for Troup National. Those boys have a 6-1 record during their last two tournaments (district and state).
“We’re playing pretty good, and we’ve had a couple of easy wins (in Roberta). We need to work on getting faster (on defense), but it still looks like a breeze,” said Hewell, who is ready to take the next step.
And that would be a state baseball championship for 11 & 12 year olds. Troup National isn’t there yet. This all-star team will have to prove its worth on the field with the pressure on.
Troup National head coach Curt Longshore wants the same thing for his boys, and he doesn’t mean a purple Gatorade. The coach wants a Dixie Youth state baseball title, much like the one that Hogansville won last year.
“We don’t want to finish second, third or fourth,” said Longshore.
The summer isn’t quite done yet for coach Curt Longshore and player Preston Pressley of the Troup National All-Stars.
That team is still alive in the State Baseball Tournament for 11 & 12 year olds.