Dixie Boys baseball has been around for several generations. This upcoming August, the organization, which was established in 1957 in Alexandria, Louisiana, will be celebrating 60 years of “providing youth with the opportunity to play baseball,” according to a press release.
Newton County has also been a part of that tradition for many years, hosting many Dixie Boys state tournaments in the area. This year, the Newton County Recreation Commission (NCRC) hosted the Dixie Boys state tournament for the first time in three years, according to NCRC Deputy Director Dwayne Mask.
This past week, the NCRC hosted two tournaments at the City Pond Park in Covington: the first for their 13-year-old league and the second for their 14-year-old one.
There were two teams in the 13-year-old junior tournament: Newton County and West Georgia. Newton County’s team left the tournament as the state champions after defeating West Georgia in a best two-out-of-three series on Saturday, July 16. The newly crowned champions will make their way to Pineville, Louisiana to play in the Jr. Dixie Boys World Series on Aug. 6.
“They’re excited,” said team manager Sammy Button. “All of these boys have been playing each other since they were 4 years old, and this is probably one of the last years that they’ll be together before they all hit high school and separate. They’re excited to hopefully bring back a championship to Newton County; something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives, and so will other kids who come through the recreation system.”
The team’s journey to the World Series was a breezy one, as they downed the West Georgia team 22-2 in Game 1 and 11-2 in Game 2.
“We had good defense, good pitching, and everybody hit the ball well,” Button said. “It was just a good weekend for us. We really couldn’t stop. It was just one of those games for us.”
There were nine teams in the 14-year-old tournament from all over the state. In addition to Newton County’s own team, there were teams from West Georgia, Norcross, Grayson, Hoganville and more. That tournament ran from Sunday to Thursday, with Newton County falling to Putnam County in Day 2 after defeating Grayson.
City Pond Park, which contains six lighted baseball fields, has hosted Dixie Boys World Series in 1993, 1997, 2002 and 2008. For years, the NCRC and Dixie Boys have partnered together to give kids a way to play the game they love.
“We’ve held this tournament quite a few times,” Mask said. “Dixie Boys nationally, sportsmanship is a big part of it. These 14 year old kids are good athletes, so they compete hard. I think everybody’s had a good time this week.”
Members of the Newton County 13-year-old team include: Cameron Callaway, Bryson Wade, Samuel Button, Charles Poole, III, Anthony Coody, Lane Christian, Dayton Green, Justin Brown, Raquis Holmes, Christopher Burney, Jackson Mitchell and Noah Cook. The team is managed by Sammy Cook and coached by Kevin Green and David Callaway.
Members of the Newton County 14-year-old team include: Timothy Price, Jr., Anthony Arwood, Daniel Stevenson, Jacob Shott, James Watson, Michael Mitchell, Joseph Henderson, Jalen Davis, Logan Allen, Samuel Harper, Michael Cowan and Sean Poe. The team is managed by Elton Harper and coached by Aaron Poe and Don Henderson.