City slides into state action

Published 11:15 pm Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The youth baseball all-star season is always one of the biggest local highlights during the summer. For starters, it gives youth a chance to compete against their peers from other communities after weeks of competing against their friends and neighbors from within their hometown. It's a chance to show just how &#8220good” they really are.
More important, it's a chance for communities to back their youth whether it is through attendance, financial support or as workers for the program.
It has been tough for fans to follow these teams the last couple of years especially last year when each local all-star team competed on the road. The 9-10s, 10-11s and 11-12s all competed in their district competition at Andalusia. The 13s competed at Atmore, while the 14s and 15s played at Monroeville. That made it especially tough for parents who had children involved in multiple age levels. It often forced them to pick and choose which child's game to follow.
This summer's schedule is much more favorable for Brewton area teams, as four youth tournaments will be held in Brewton.
Two of those tournaments kick off Saturday, as district play for the 9-10s and 10-11s gets under way at the Brewton Area YMCA Park.
Another tournament that will be played on local turf gets under way next week with the Babe Ruth 13-year-olds. That competition will be held at T.R. Miller High School.
There are some local all-star teams that will have to travel. The Little League 11-12s head to Evergreen, while the Babe Ruth 14s and 15s will compete in Uriah. Both are only 30-50 minute drives, which beats the hour to hour and 15 minutes all-star fans have had to travel in recent years, most notably to Andalusia and Opp.
With gas prices being what they are and the typical south Alabama threat of late afternoon showers that often wipe out games, it is a big advantage for teams to be at home or at least within a short drive.
The crowning jewel for the all-star season will come next month when Brewton hosts the Advanced Babe Ruth State Tournaments in the age 16 and 16-18 divisions.
It's a big plus for any community to land a state tournament. Fans from all over the state will be in town to patronize local businesses such as restaurants, motels and other area attractions in addition to their baseball activities.
It's an even bigger feather in Brewton's cap because this is the first time in more than two decades Brewton has fielded an Advanced Babe Ruth team.
Kudos go out to Brewton Babe Ruth League president Mike Perry and Advanced Babe Ruth League coordinator Joey Shell for their time and energy in landing such a prestigious event.
Brewton will be circled on a lot of road maps over the next few weeks. Let's make it a pleasant place to visit.
Bruce Hixon is sports editor of The Brewton Standard. Contact him at 867-4876 or by e-mail at

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