Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 29, 2008
DEMOPOLIS &8212; More than 200 families gathered Thursday night at the Sports-Plex to celebrate the efforts of the girls who made up the 2008 Demopolis Dixie Youth Softball League. The league&8217;s closing ceremonies included the recognition of each individual player, the awarding of championship trophies for each of the three age brackets and the announcing of the girls who will continue their respective seasons in all-star play.
The increased participation also resulted in a number of inexperienced players competing in the higher age groups, a phenomenon by which Reynolds Vending coach Clay Mackin was somewhat surprised.
The peculiar occurrence resulted in a unique dynamic for the age level, one Mackin believes the four coaches in the division handled well.
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While the league&8217;s spike in participation was remarkable, coaches and parents present at Thursday&8217;s event extolled the effort of the girls who made up the teams.
The league also seemed to serve its purpose in benefiting the girls. While proving a recreational outlet for many, it also served to provide a means of remaining in practice for some of its older players looking to compete at the middle school level.
For Jones, an 11-12-year-old all-star, the Dixie Youth season also marked the first time she has experienced championship glory.
She and the other girls selected for all-star play will begin practice soon in preparation for the late June regional tournament.
While she and many of her peers are looking to the next step, Thursday was a night for the league to commemorate the season that was.
The team that took home the first place trophy for the 7-8-year-old division was Coplin&8217;s, coached by Bob Walker to a 9-3 record.
The 9-10-year-old age bracket saw its coveted top-of-the-standings award go to River City Collision, who finished the season at 8-4. The River City team was coached by Petrey.
The championship keepsake for the 11-12-year-old age group went to Jones Construction, whose 10-2 mark was good enough to make its head coach Charles Jones the coach for the division&8217;s all-star team. Walker and Petrey will coach the all-star teams for their respective age divisions.