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9U all-star team preps for state

All-star season is beginning to heat up. Several teams have secured their trips to state by winning district tournaments.

For the Demopolis 9U team, that hasn’t been the case.

The group was able to advance straight to state because no other town in the region has a 9U group.

While going directly to the biggest stage is a great experience for the players, the coaches know that not playing in district could hurt as much as it helps.

“We needed to play some games. Right now we are just trying to get up to game speed.” said head coach Terry Lay,

“All of these guys come from different teams and most are playing in new positions. We just could have used the experience.”

Lay’s squad may not be able to play kids their own age just yet, but they are getting some help from older teams.

Wednesday night the 9U team played Demopolis’ 10U team in a scrimmage game and will also play two more practice games against Gilbertown’s 10U team.

“I think that facing these 10 year olds will help us out once we get there. It just makes gauging what we need to work on a little harder. We know that pitching will be a grey area because only two on this team have stepped on the mound (this year),” said Lay.

Now that they have gotten some game experience, Lay likes what he sees on the defensive side of the ball though.

“We are about as solid as you can get defensively, but again, we have infielders playing in the outfield for the first time in their lives. We just need to get used to the positions.”

With question marks still there, Lay hopes that these next few days can be used to gain a little more valuable playing time for his team, knowing that the experience, or lack thereof, will become a big factor.

All the questions will be answered in just one week’s time, as the 9U team will travel down to Matthews in Mobile to begin to make its run toward a state Cal Ripken title.