Rising to the occasion

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 25, 2008

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Despite early evening showers that took their toll on the fields at the Sports-Plex, the Cal Ripken League District 10 champion Demopolis all-stars practiced Wednesday. The modified session saw the boys take batting practice while throwing intermittently.

According to head coach Terry Lay, today&8217;s session will feature much of the same look.

The team will begin play in the state tournament Saturday in Madison. The first two days of the event will feature pool play. The 10 teams in the tournament are divided into two five-team pools. Each squad will play two games within its division or league Saturday and two more Sunday. At the conclusion of pool play, the top two teams from each division will continue play Monday in a four-team, single-elimination bracket to determine the state championship.

Lay also conceded his team&8217;s inexperience and apparent obliviousness could be an asset as it looks to make a run deep into the state tournament.

While the players were excited, they also appeared to have some grasp of what they will need to do in order to be successful.

The 12 boys who make up the roster, pulled from a pool of approximately 50 players, will contend with teams such as Coosa, Madison and Matthews in their quest to bring a state title home to Demopolis. One of the unique challenges the boys will face is overcoming teams such as Madison whose reputation for strong play is largely credited to its ability to pull from a considerably larger talent base.

Lay, who hopes his team has the same support as its analogous counterpart, David, will continue preparing his squad to do things he believes it needs to do in order to be prepared to pull off what many would likely consider an upset.