Central Teams Excel at USSSA Baseball Tournament

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Submitted by Claude and Leslie Cassels

    The USSSA State Baseball Tournament was held in Carencro, LA. this past week-end, June 17-19.   Several teams from ALL age brackets played in this tournament…. The Coaches Pitch division showed strong in Championship Games.  Central was very well represented at this tournament.      

    Central Linedrive 8U AAA-Coaches Pitch Team Manager: Claude Cassels (Central based team)- 2nd place.  Louisiana Naturals 8U AAA-Coaches Pitch   Team Manager:  Milton Perkins   (Denham Springs/Central based)- 1st place.

    Have you ever witnessed young people giving their all to something they love?   After months of practicing in intense Louisiana heat, 4 months of tournament ball; they showed up with their"game faces" on.   More importantly, they showed up with team spirit and sportsmanship.   For me, the sportsmanship I witnessed is what I will remember and cherish most.  Young boys knelt with their coaches before and after games to pray and give God the Glory.  It was Father's Day weekend, and I witnessed many boys giving their Dads a thumbs up with a smile on their face.  It was evident that these boys were already learning lessons on how to be good Dads someday.  It was also clear that they appreciated the commitment from their fathers, as well as from their coaches, who also had  endured the Louisiana's heat in order to support these young people in a sport they love.

Championship Sunday: Central Linedrive progresses to the Championship game …. Who will they play ?

    Louisiana Naturals has to beat the #1 team in the state to get to the Championship Game.    If I am not mistaken, the Naturals had previously played the Scrappers several times this season and had never won against them.  Well, they finally beat them hands down on Sunday, and made it to the Championship game.  The stage was set,  Central Linedrive vs. Louisiana Naturals.   As a parent, I found myself pulling for both teams.  I looked across the diamond and saw a dozen kids that ride the same buses together, and some are in the same class. It was a well played and hard fought game.  One of those, you bite a nail, pace, or sit on the edge of your seat.    Bottom of 6th inning, Louisiana Naturals score to win 7 – 6.  They are Louisiana State Champions in the 8U AAA Division. The Naturals won the game, and are the well deserved State Champions.  What I observed next, made every member of both teams "champions" in my mind.   Both teams cross center field, shake hands, and congratulate each other.  THEN, I witnessed players from both teams wanting to take a picture together, with their rings and trophies.  One for all, all for the very end.  That lesson is what we call in Louisiana, "Lagniappe" !  It was a truly great moment to witness. There were tears of joy and tears of sadness; but after all,  one team must WIN, one team must LOSE.  That is how it is in sports, that is how it is in life.  I overheard one player sum it up best.  He said,  "You know, I am sorry we lost, but I did my best and had fun."

    I think there were many parents, especially Dads, who realized… "This is really what it is all about". They (Our Boys Of Summer) really do get it!  Central,  I hope you all realize that there are some really fine, YOUNG athletes making our city proud.

    Congratulations also goes out to Central Tigers 7U AAA-Coaches Pitch Team Manager: Ronnie Walters –  who took 2nd place in the State Tournament in their age division.

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