Demopolis 11U team puts in final practices

Published 7:52 pm Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Four teams from Demopolis have made their way to the respective state tournaments.

The 11U team, coached by Brian Sellers, has just had to wait its turn to do it.

The team earned a bid into the tournament held in Tillman’s Corner, because it is the only team in its region to field a team of strictly 11-year-old players.

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The team has been attempting to get some game experience, knowing that just showing up without in-game work is a difficult thing.

“It’s a double edged sword,” said Sellers of not playing a district tournament. “You don’t have to wear your pitching out, but also, it leaves room for a lot of unknowns.”

Sellers said that the lack of game experience has cost the team a little bit defensively as it has not been able to gel just yet on the infield.

As practice has gone on, however, he said has seen improvement each week.

As 11-year-olds, the team faces one of the unique problems of being low on pitching. Having played with 12-year-olds during regular season play this year, many players found themselves behind the older, stronger pitchers that make up the 12U all-star team.

“Right now, we have four pitchers that are capable and we are working on more. But throwing in practice and throwing in a game are two different things,” said Sellers.

The 11U team has been hard at work despite its inability to play those district games.

The team has been practicing twice a day, with the morning consisting of voluntary conditioning workouts.

“We are in great shape, our kids have been working hard in the mornings to get that way,” Sellers said.

When Demopolis takes the field, Sellers believes that it will be the team’s outfield that will shine above all other areas.

“We probably have the best outfield in the entire tournament. Every single one of them can make some great plays,” Sellers said.

Sellers and his squad have also been playing practice games to help the team prepare for what is ahead.

“We played two games up in Taylorsville last week where we won one game and lost one game. In June, we went to a USSSA tournament and played in it.”

For now the 11U team has only to buckle down and get its gloves and bats ready to go as it starts on its quest to capture a Cal Ripken State Title.