Demopolis 12U team set for district

Published 10:43 pm Friday, June 19, 2009

As the 12-year-old all-star team prepares to play in Sumter County on Monday at 7:30 p.m., it hopes to build off of last year’s success.

Just one year ago, as 11-year-olds, the team finished third in the state tournament, losing in the semi-finals to eventual champ Coosa in an extra- inning game.

“We really surprised some people (last year). I think we surprised ourselves,” said head coach Rob Pearson.

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This year, the team returns nine and adds three new faces from what Pearson considers a talented pool of players: Alston Dinning, Cameron Palmer and Blake Bowden.

“We feel like we had an exceptional group of 12-year-olds to pick from this year,” he said.

As Pearson and his assistants Derek Moody and Gary Schroeder get the team ready to play, the depth of pitching seems to rise up as a strength.

With six good arms to rely on, Pearson believes that his team can emulate what it did last year.

“We certainly won’t run out of pitching,” Pearson said.

With the possibility of playing eight games in one week, not running out of pitching will greatly increase the team’s chances of winning.

For Pearson, the biggest key to victory won’t be in the way the boys play; it will be in the way they get ready for each game.

“We feel like we have a good, talented team,” he said.

“The key for us is going to be whether the leadership develops.

“They will have to be able to find joy in playing good baseball. That will be the key.”

Pearson hopes the boys can take what they have learned and use is to build on their experience.