The good and the bad from the All-Star season
Published 2:17 am Wednesday, July 11, 2007
By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
Like most years, this summer's youth all-star season has both its ups and downs. At least so far, there has been a lot more good than bad. Here are some of both I've come across.
The good: Give thumbs up to Brewton Little League president Tony Smith, his workers and league supporters for making sure the recent Age 9-10 and Age 10-11 district tournaments held at the Brewton YMCA Park ran smoothly.
There is a lot of time and paper work that goes into hosting an event such as this, much of which the general public does not see.
It was great to see directional signs throughout town to help out-of-town fans find the ballpark a lot easier. The drive down the hill to the field had signs welcoming each of the participating teams and individual signs supporting the Brewton and East Brewton players and teams.
Brewton Little League provided programs that told who was who on each team with the exception of Covington County, which did not submit its player and coach information.
Brewton Little League also had a hospitality tent.
The bad: The scoreboard at J.U. Blacksher High School where the Babe Ruth 15-year-olds played their district tournament did not work the first day of the tournament.
While the problem was rectified for later sessions in the tournament, that was something that should have been taken care before the tournament started.
The good: The district championships for the Brewton Little League Age 10-11 and Babe Ruth 13-year-old All-Star teams.
The bad: Two evenings of rainouts at the Little League Age 11-12 district tournament and a suspended game due to rain at the Babe Ruth Age 15 district tournament.
It's not so bad if you're playing at home, but it is just money down the gas tank for those out-of-town tournaments, which both of these were. The 11-12s were at Evergreen and the 15s were at Uriah.
The (very) good: Opp's 11-12 All-Stars. Just ask Brewton, which was outscored 19-3, outhit 25-2 and outhomered 6-0 in its two meetings with Opp.
The bad (for Opp's opponents): There isn't any relief in sight. Opp's 9-10 All-Stars outscored its opponents 48-13 in its four games en route to winning its district title.
The good: When Brewton and East Brewton Little League players enter the Brewton Babe Ruth League, Brewton and Opp go different ways for their district tournaments. The two leagues can't collide until the state tournament under the current district alignment.
The bad: Evergreen not starting its July 4 doubleheader for the 11-12s until 6 p.m.
Starting at that time on other nights when most people have
to work and then travel is one thing. Starting at that time on a holiday when most people are off all day is another.
Why not play it during the daytime hours so (a) people can get home at a decent hour, (b) people can watch the fireworks and enjoy other holiday activities and (c) avoid those typical late afternoon, early evening showers.
Perhaps tournament officials learned their lesson after two days of rainouts. They moved Saturday's makeup-game from 7 p.m. to 10 a.m. and, yes, it popped up a shower late Saturday afternoon several hours after the Brewton-Opp game had been completed that morning.
The good: this week's Advanced Babe Ruth State Tournament, which will be held at T.R. Miller High School. It has been 16 years since Brewton last hosted a state tournament. The last came in 1991 when it hosted the 15-year-olds. Events like this don't come to Brewton every day. Hopefully the community will get out and support both Brewton and all participating teams.
The bad: No district tournaments for the Brewton Advanced Babe Ruth 16s and 16-18s as well as the Brewton 14s. It isn't that big a deal for the two Advanced teams because they played regular season ball through the end of last week.
That isn't the case for the 14s. The district tournament for that age level was cancelled when Brewton was the only district member to field a team.
Brewton Babe Ruth regular season play ended June 7. It does not enter state tournament play until July 18, 41 days later.