The Troup National All-Stars would like to get one thing perfectly straight.
“We’re going to have fun,” said Gryson Cockrell, an outfielder and second baseman for Troup National.
Cockrell and the Troup National All-Stars are on the invitation list for the Dixie Youth World Series, which will start tomorrow in Oxford, Ala. Troup National will take a 10-1 record to the double-elimination tournament, having already won the district and state championships this summer.
And no, the 11 & 12-yearold Troup National team is not surprised it is still playing baseball with the calendar turning to August.
“We have a good team, and we have a lot of athletes. We’re going to have fun, and we’re glad to be in the World Series,” said Cockrell. “This is a lifetime experience.”
Jimmie Jackson is preparing for some World Series baseball, too. Jackson is an outfielder and second baseman for the Troup National All-Stars.
Jackson is going to the World Series to impress and to win. This is both a pleasure trip and a business trip for the Troup National team. Every member of that squad believes it can win in Oxford.
That’sAlabama, not England.
“We are more about the team. We have pitching, hitting and all the fundamentals,” said Jackson. “We have good teamwork.”
Troup National also has the multi-tasking Trevor Booton, the sometimes catcher, the sometimes pitcher and the occasional third baseman. He is a team guy, too, but he has a wicked swing.
Booton is an RBI kind of player. Her doesn’t play for himself. Booton plays mostly for the Troup National team.
“We don’t want this (season) to end. We’re getting better and better. We want to win the whole thing,” said Booton, the Home Run Derby champion from the State Tournament in Roberta.
Booton had six home run swings in that competition. He wants even more for his Troup National team starting with its World Series opener on Saturday against Louisiana (3:30 p.m. first pitch).
That could be the start of something rather monumental for the Troup National All-Stars – like a World Series title. Very possibly. The tournament is slated for Aug. 510.
“We think we can pull this off. We’re going to need determination. We’ll see some bigger boys, but we can beat them,” said Booton.
Coach Curt Longshore of Troup National doesn’t want this summer to end either. He wouldn’t mind adding a World Series trophy to all the others.
“We have a bunch of dirt dogs. We trust each other. Several hundred all-star teams in Dixie Youth are finished. Our talent level is way better (than it was earlier this summer),” said Longshore.
Why not Troup National as World Series champions? It could happen.