Starkville 12-year-olds feel prepared for Overall State

Starkville 12-year-old All-Stars
Staff Writer

Starkville's 12-year-old All-Stars of the Dizzy Dean feel they’ve been well-prepared for what’s on tap for today. 
After taking down Louisville, Newton County and Caledonia, Starkville came back from a deficit late against neighboring Choctaw County to win the South State championship at McKee Park last week. A week later, they’re going for the overall trophy at the same place. 
“As the games went on, they got more and more competitive for our team,” Starkville head coach Russ McReynolds said. “Choctaw County put up a real fight. We got down early and our kids kept chipping away and they responded. It was just a great win for our guys. 
“The teams we’ll face (Saturday) will be even tougher. All four clubs are good teams and we’ll expect good ball games. I think our kids are prepared and ready for it.” 
Starkville kicks off Saturday’s action against Horn Lake at 11 a.m. Calhoun City and Greenwood play game two at 1 p.m. as champions of the champions of the East and the West. 
The winners of those two games converge in a championship match at 3 p.m. Saturday to determine the state champion. As always, McReynolds believes the teams that pitch it the best will win it. He feels his group is in a great position on the mound. 
“I’m not quite certain who is going to start yet, but we have plenty of pitchers at our disposal,” McReynolds said. “It’s one game at a time. If you don’t win it, you don’t go to the next ball game, so we’ll put the guys that give us the best chance to win out there. I feel like we’ve got plenty of pitching depth so that’s not a concern.”
McReynolds' All-Stars have got the hitting as well as his team squared it up and hit the baseball incredibly well a week ago.
“We had several kids that hit the ball well really up and down the lineup,” McReynolds said. “It was different players in different ball games. I feel good about that. We’ll score some runs, just hopefully our pitching and defense will do their job as well.” 
With the 6-year-old All-Stars already winning the state championship earlier this week, Starkville’s 10-year-olds will join the 12’s trying to add to the trophy case this summer. 
Members of the 12’s are Garrett Carson, Eli Dale, Zack Harris, Wyatt Johnson, Mac McReynolds, Justin Ming, Xavier Prater, Ethan Pulliam, Jack Ruth, Newt Thomas, Brennon Wright and Drew Williams. 
Russ McReynolds is assisted in coaching by Ryan Smith.