Sumter County Baseball All-Stars prepare for District Tournaments

Published 8:35 am Friday, June 1, 2018

Americus – The stage has been set. The all-star teams have been chosen. Now it’s time to prepare for the district tournaments for the 12u, 10u and 8u Sumter County All-Star Baseball Teams. All three teams practiced on Thursday, May 31. All three coaches, along with a couple of players, talked with the Americus Times-Recorder about what it will take to have success in the district tournaments.

The best players on the recreational teams in each age group have been chosen to be on these all-star teams for the purpose of competing for the district tournaments. The district tournaments will begin on Saturday, June 23. The winners from each age group go to the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association (GRPA) state tournaments.

Mason Dowdey, a member of the 8u Sumter County All-Star Team, fields a ground ball during practice.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

John Mixon is the head coach for the 8u Sumter County All-Star Team. “Our team is made up of the best players off of the five teams in our regular season,” Mixon said. “Each coach nominates a few players, and then we pick the best of the best. We have not had a game yet. Our first game will be Saturday, June 2. We have four tournaments before we play in the district tournament.” Coach Mixon went on to say that in order to win the district tournament, his team needs to learn situations very well, play good defense and hit the ball a little better. Mixon said that his team will be playing in a tournament in Telfair County on Saturday, June 2. The team will also be playing in a tournament in Hawkinsville Monday through Thursday, June 4-7. At this level, a pitching machine is used to pitch to the batters. Mixon went on to say that his team will not be playing in the Kiwanis Baseball Tournament Friday through Sunday, June 8-10, because not enough pitching machine teams signed up to play in it.

Donoven Minter, a member of the 10u Sumter County All-Star Team, bare hands a ground ball in practice.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The 10u Sumter County All-Star Team is preparing for its district tournament. “This was our first practice. We looked pretty well considering it was the first practice with all the rain and everything,” Head Coach Craig Potter said. “The key is going to come down to pitching. If we can throw strikes, we’ll be all right.” One of the members of the 10u Sumter County All-Star Team, Austin Davis, pretty much described what it’s going to take for his team to win in two words: “Play hard,” Davis said.

Second Baseman Cade Ledger, a member of the 10u Sumter County All-Star Team, makes contact with the ball during batting practice.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Phillip Exley is the head coach of the 12u Sumter County All-Star Team. His team will prepare themselves by playing in some tournaments before the district tournament begins June 23, including the Kiwanis Baseball Tournament. “We’ve got a great group of 10 kids from area schools, and all of them are 12, with the exception of one 11-year-old,” Exley said. “We’ve got two tournaments that we’re going to play in, starting in Hawkinsville next week. That’s a double-elimination tournament.” Exley went on to say that the tournament in Hawkinsville will begin Monday, June 4 and go through Thursday, June 7. “We’ve got the Kiwanis tournament scheduled for next weekend,” Exley said. “Then we’ll have a couple of weeks of practice for preparation for our district tournament, which is going to be held in Moultrie. That’s three teams: Moultrie, Crisp County and Sumter County. The top two teams from district will advance to state.” Alex Jones is a member of the 12u Sumter County All-Stars. For him, being an all-star is not new. “It feels pretty good. I made it a couple of times before. I’m used to it,” Jones said. As far as Jones is concerned, practice has been pretty good, but the team needs to learn how to play together before the district tournament comes around. “I feel like we’re doing pretty good in practice, but we need to work together some more,” Jones said.

Here are the rosters of the three Sumter County All-Star Teams:

8u Sumter County All-Star Team: First Baseman: William Webb, Second Baseman: Kyler Hoffman, Shortstop: Noah Mixon, Catcher: Max Kelley, Left Center Fielder: Wes Brock, Charlie Kellam: Left Fielder, Third Baseman: Kavoris Edmonds, Right Center Fielder: Hays Hagerson, Pitcher: Mason Dowdey, Outfielder: Connor Ash, Asher Bishop: Outfielder, Logan Webb: Outfielder, Head Coach: John Mixon, Assistant Coach: Steve Brock, Assistant Coach: Will Bishop


12u Sumter County All-Star Team: Fisher Britt, Luke Exley, Will Godwin, Alex Jones, Travis Pennington, Sam Smarr, Cedric Smith, Luke Tarrer, Anthony Tyson, Perry Usher

Head Coach: Phillip Exley

Assistant Coach: Corey Tyson

Assistant Coach: Chip Usher