Published 6:15 am Thursday, July 20, 2006
By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
Moments after his team was eliminated by Phenix City Monday at the state tournament in Mobile, Brewton Little League 11-year-old all-stars coach David Maddox told his group how proud he was of their effort and accomplishments.
While Maddox's words were directed to his players, they apply to all of the players and coaches who were a part of this year's all-star baseball circuit.
For starters, it is an honor for each player just to be selected to the all-star teams. Players have to be among the top players in the league to be chosen. It is also an honor for the coaches to get a chance to work with these kids and represent their community.
This year's all-star circuit had plenty of heartache. Most of it surfaces after the last game, which is almost always a loss. Each all-star team will lose its last game unless it is the Little League age 9-10 and 11 state champion, the Little League age 11-12 World Series champion and the Babe Ruth 13, 14 and 15-year-old national champion.
The end of the tournament trail was especially tough this year for the Brewton 11s, East Brewton 11-12s and Brewton 15s.
The Brewton 11s were trying to do something no other Brewton Little League team has ever done, win a game at a state tournament. It looked for a while they would end break through in that area Saturday. Brewton led Huntsville by as many as three runs at one point and still led 4-2 after the fourth inning before the wheels came off in a 9-4 loss.
East Brewton's 11-12s were also in position to make history. East Brewton has never won a district Little League championship at any age level. Wins over Brewton and Opp put East Brewton within a win of that elusive first championship, but Covington County stormed through the losers bracket and beat East Brewton twice in the championship series to snatch the title away.
The Brewton 15s shrugged off a first-round district loss to Monroeville to win three straight elimination games
and advance to the winner-take-all championship game. Brewton overcame a four-run deficit in the sixth and seventh innings to force extra innings. It then took a 9-7 lead in the top of the eight, but fell victim to a three-run walk-off homerun in the bottom half of the inning.
Although it won only one game, perhaps the area's most improved group from a year ago was the Brewton 14s. Last year as 13-year-olds they were outscored 28-9 in a quick two and out trip through the
This year as 14-year-olds they played district champion Monroeville in two highly competitive games and erased three deficits in a victory over Evergreen.
This summer's all-star season featured some history with the debut of East Brewton's first 11-year-olds team. East Brewton made a quick impact at that level, as it advanced all the way to the championship round where it was ousted by Brewton.