Tough is one word to describe the draw for Starkville's 8-year-old Coach-Pitch All-Stars at the Dizzy Dean State Tournament in Louisville this week.
Starkville opens up with Clinton today at 2 p.m. and if it wins that game, it will more than likely play Louisville.
Louisville is considered by most to be one of the three best teams in the state.
"It is going to be a tough tournament," Starkville coach Tom McReynolds said. "We have a very tough bracket. We are playing pretty good right now. We played three warm up tournaments and in those three tournaments, we were 11-3. We have won our last two warm-up tournaments back-to-back. If we can get through those first two games, we can be really, really competitive."
Other teams in the bracket are Columbus American and West Point National.
Even with all the good teams Starkville faces, McReynolds still thinks there is a chance his team can come out victorious.
"We are hitting the ball really well right now," McReynolds said. "We have got four guys catching routine fly balls in the outfield. I told our guys if we hit and we catch routine fly balls in the outfield we can stay in any game we play."
His team is not short of confidence.
Starkville is guaranteed at least three games this week in a semi-double elimination format.
A win or a loss against Clinton still promises a 5 p.m. game today.
Starkville Coach-Pitch 7
The Starkville 7-year-old All-Stars have seen some success against some of the teams they face this week in the Dizzy Dean 7-year-old Coach-Pitch State Tournament in Columbus.
Sponsored by Southwire and Buddy Johnston of Advantage Title Loans, Starkville comes in with a lot of momentum and confidence.
"I think we have a good chance," Starkville coach Charlie Williamson said. "We have a good group of kids. We have played two tournaments prior to the state tournament. We came in second in one in Starkville and we won one in Louisville. We beat five of the 11 teams in our bracket so we have a pretty good chance."
Starkville opens up with Clinton at 5 p.m. today. A win matches it up with Columbus American at 8 p.m. later tonight. A loss puts Starkville in the loser's bracket with 5 p.m. Friday game.
It all comes down to hitting for the 7-year-olds.
"We have done really well hitting," Williamson said. "Our bottom three guys have really stepped up the last couple of games. That has really been the difference between us winning and losing. They have come along."
Starkville Freshmen 12
The Starkville Freshmen 12-year-old All-Stars aren't taking anything for granted this week in the Dizzy Dean State Tournament in Columbus.
Starkville opens up with Mathiston today at 5 p.m. who it beat last week.
"I don't know if they had their full team together," Starkville coach Brian Evans said. "I don't know if we will be facing that exact same group of boys or if they had one or two out. Typically in some of these warm-up tournaments, not all the kids are there. We don't want to necessarily take for granted that we are going to win just because we have beaten them one time."
A win matches Starkville up with the Columbus Nationals at 5 p.m. on Friday and a loss sends it to the loser's bracket.
"We feel pretty good about the team," Evans said. "We have played in a couple of tournaments and have done well. The keys are playing solid defense and making sure the bats are working. Those are two of the biggest keys. We feel like with what we've done so far, we have a pretty good chance."