Published 6:53 am Monday, August 20, 2007
Youth commended for show of pride
In July, I had the privilege of taking the Brewton Babe Ruth 14-year-old All Stars to the opening ceremonies of the Alabama State Play-Off Tournament in Sylacauga. The members of this team were: Tyler Sawyer, Christian Lodge, Devlin Crosby, Edward Hines, Spencer Waldrep, Michael MaGaha, Bryant Jernigan, Ryland Dixon, Wil Riggs, Trent Robinson, Cody Swain, Bradley Brown and Cody Bradley.
At the banquet, I watched these young men sit through a two-hour program with three long-winded speakers as they fidgeted very little. I saw each one of them wait patiently when the caterers ran out of food and had to go off-site to obtain more. I heard the comments from other team players, parents and coaches regarding how nice our boys were dressed, and how they were so well-mannered and polite.
I spent three hours driving them in the van, and four days with them overall. I listened to their conversations and observed their behavior. Their character, respect and pride showed in every aspect. The way they traveled, socialized, practiced, played and encouraged each other was remarkable. I want to commend each and every one of these boys, and let the citizens of Brewton know that they can be proud of the way they were represented in Sylacauga.
I want to thank the coaches, Tom Jernigan, Reese Robinson and Keith Dixon, for their commitment and leadership. Without them, these 13 boys would not have even had the opportunity to play in the state tournament. Their hard work and dedication extended not only to countless hours of practice, but also to taking three days off work, either without pay or using vacation days, to travel with these boys to the tournament. Their commitment was unsurpassed. I especially want to thank George Grover for volunteering to help drive and chaperon; Chip Peach and Rodney Rhodes at Peach Ford for helping provide transportation; Roger Chapman with the Parks and Recreation Board; and last but not least, all the parents who helped with too many things to mention.
Sometimes it's not about how many games you win or lose, but it's about the experience you gain, and how you represent yourself in the process. That can be said to sum up what happened with the Brewton 14-year-old All Stars in Sylacauga