Demopolis 7-8 team begins Monday

Published 7:45 pm Friday, June 5, 2009

The Demopolis 7-and-8-year-old Cal Ripken League All-Stars are getting ready to start the District 10 play Monday.

The 2009 team is made up of the best of the best from the 7-and-8-year-old league this year, with every team having a least one representative selected as an all-star.

The all-stars will travel to Livingston to play in the opening round of the tournament.

The team will return to play in Demopolis on Tuesday and Wednesday nights to play at the Sports-Plex Wednesday.

The end of district play will be in Butler.

If all goes well for the team, the boys will advance to a tournament of the top four teams from the district.

The top two teams from that bracket will advance to a best-of-three series to determine which group will represent the district at the state tournament.

The team has been hard at work on the practice field this week in an effort to come together to be able to play at its peak when game time rolls around. “What we want to do is to be fully prepared for Monday,” says manager Hugh Overmyer. “And we do that by getting them out here and hitting and fielding.”

Much of the team’s practices have been focusing on coming together and learning the fundamentals of playing as a team.

The all-stars have been working on hitting their cut-off men, making the right play and getting a feel for each other.

Even though the boys are still in at an age of learning and having fun, that there is little mistaking their competitive edge.

“They want to win,” said Overmyer. “If you just want to have a party out here, then you will make some of them happy. But most of them just want to win.”

Hitting appears to be strength of the team and Overmyer sees that as an advantage that could help this team succeed in district play.

“Hitting and base running,” said Overmyer. “If we do those well, then we should do well.”

That fact should play to the advantage of the young ballplayers as the team has big bats throughout its lineup and speed along the base paths.

Arthur Evans, the Cal Ripken League president for Demopolis, is also hopeful about this year’s team.

“Last year, 7-8’s won the district tournament and went to state,” said Evans. “We hope this group can do even better.”If this team plays its best and plays as a team, it may have a strong chance of doing just that.