Two Philadelphia teams seek state DYB crowns

By By Ryan Satcher/staff writer
July 16, 2004
Two all-star teams from Philadelphia will try to bring home state championships in the Dixie Youth State Tournaments in Laurel.
The Philadelphia nine-year-olds will get started in their tournament on tonight at the Laurel Sportsplex while the Philadelphia 10-year-olds will get their tournament going on Saturday.
The Philadelphia nine-year-olds were the only nine-year-old team in district four and moved into the state tournament without having to play in a district tournament.
They are hoping a lot of practice and some scrimmage games will help them be prepared for the state competition.
"We feel pretty good," said coach Barry McNair. "We would like to have played in a district but we have had some scrimmages and we are ready to play. We're tired of scrimmaging and want to play. I hope we will show up ready."
Philly will need to be ready from the start as they open up with Amory on Friday night.
They will then face either Hattiesburg American or Washington County on Saturday.
"We're in a pretty tough bracket," said McNair. "Hattiesburg and Washington County were good last year in coach-pitch and Amory should be good."
The nine-year-olds will rely on good defense and solid fundamentals to move through the tournament.
"We play good defense," said McNair. "Probably our strong point is our defense. We are a small team and we are going to have to just manufacture runs."
The Philly 10-year-olds will also be competing in the state tournament in Laurel but took a much different path to the event.
The 10-year-olds swept through the Dixie Youth District Four tournament at Center Hill last week to earn the trip to Laurel.
Philly run-ruled its first two opponents in the district tournament and then slipped past West Lauderdale 7-5 to take the district championship.
According to coach Jim Fulton, most of the team also has experience in state tournament play.
"About eight out of my 13 players were on the eight-year-old state championship team that won in Magee," said Fulton. "They know how much fun the state tournament is and hopefully they will do well."
The 10-year-olds will also have to battle through a difficult tournament.
"I expect Magee to be very tough," said Fulton. "I don't know a lot about the other teams, but I know its going to be a tough tournament."
Philly will await the winner of Friday's game between Kosciusko and Laurel-Jones County. They will play on Saturday in the double-elimination tournament.
According to Fulton, the team is ready to play.
"They're excited," said Fulton of his team. "They should be ready to get after it."

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