Tallassee coaches Adam Clayton (far left) and Stephen Webster with all-star sons Slade and Chase. The elders were players on the the 9/10 Tallassee district title team in 1990. Photo by Michelle Clayton.
All-stars state bound
By Michael Butler
Tallassee will have five teams in state tournaments this month, four baseball and one softball. All but one will begin play this week.
The two Dixie Youth Baseball teams are from the 9/10 age group. Both teams won district tournaments in Montgomery.
The last time Tallassee had won the district title in that age group was 2005. Tommy Wisener's team ended the drought with the championship at AUM, winning the title series over Southeast Blue. The team will play in the AAA 16-team state tournament in Troy beginning on July 13. The bracket will be completed after sub-state this week.
"The kids never gave up. There were plenty of times they could have but they kept battling," Wisener said. "As far as the state tournament goes, I'm looking forward to the challenges of playing against these other quality teams and seeing just how far we can go."
The 10U rookies will be one of the top seeds in the 20-team state tournament in Tuscaloosa this week. Tallassee opens play vs. Cherokee American on Thursday, July 6 at 1:30 p.m.
Tallassee 15U all-star Bailey Keller at the district tourney in Syalcauga. Photo by Holley Taylor.
"This team went undefeated in their district tournament and really represented Tallassee well," manager Klay Peters said. "I am extremely proud of this group of kids and I am enjoying coaching them. They really are a great group and work hard. It is our goal as coaches to teach them the fundamentals of baseball and make them better players. We also want them to enjoy the sport and have fun playing together this summer. We are ready to participate in the state tournament in Tuscaloosa and I know this group will represent Tallassee well."
One Dixie Youth Softball team is in the state tournament mix, the 6U Sweeties. The nine-team tourney is in Eufuala. Head coach Brent Tennyson's Tallassee girls have been playing just about every weekend since the league season ended. Their first opponent this week will be Enterprise on Saturday, July 8 at 9:00 a.m.
"The tournament will have nine teams," Tennyson said. "The girls have been playing in other tournaments in preparation for the Dixie Youth State Tournament. We hope to represent Tallassee in the best way."
Tallassee fielded two Babe Ruth teams for all-stars after the regular season at the 14- and 15-year-old levels. The 14U team hosted the district tournament and won it in Tallassee. The 15U group were runners-up to district host Sylacauga. The state 14U tournament is in Wetumpka. The 15U will be played in Sylacauga. Both tourneys begin on July 6.
Lee Golden is coach of the district champs in the 14-year-old age group.
"We are excited about getting the opportunity to represent our town in the Babe Ruth State Tournament," Golden noted. "We as a team have practiced very hard to get ready for this tournament. We are looking forward to competing, playing our best and representing Tallassee."
Craig Vaught was the skipper of last year's 14-year-old squad. He has most of the same guys this year with the 15U team.
"Our tournament will be pool play and then the top four will go to the championship round which is single elmination," he said. Last year, Vaught took the 14U team to Texas for the World Series.
Tallassee 6U DYS Sweeties, Eufaula (Begins July 8)
Tallassee 10U DYB AAA Rookies, Tuscaloosa (Begins July 6)
Tallassee 10U DYB AAA, Troy (Begins July 13)
Tallassee 14U Babe Ruth, Wetumpka (Begins July 6)
Tallassee 15U Babe Ruth, Childersburg (Begins July 6)