Bowen Braswell has been through a lot in his baseball career, earning a scholarship, competing in state tournaments and earning respect as one of his region's top high school players.
But looking back on it all, his time playing in the Dixie Boys World Series in his home town is still one of his best memories on the diamond.
"It was something I always wanted to get to and to be able to participate in," Braswell said. "It was a fun experience and I will always remember it."
Braswell, who just played his final season at Alcovy and will attend Georgia Perimeter on a baseball scholarship played on Newton's 2008 Dixie Boys team, the last time the World Series was played here.
Braswell, along with former teammates such as Austin Fuller, Dustin Daniel, Steven Long and Joey Mitchell, were selected from Newton County Recreation's top 13-14 year olds to make up the home team.
Newton didn't fare too well in the '08 series, but that didn't dampen Braswell's time in it much.
"It was a big deal," Braswell said. "I played at Newton County Recreation growing up, always making it to the state tournament and always making it deep into the state tournament and finally getting to be there was great for me."
Newton fell in its first two games of the World Series to Georgia and Virginia, but were able to play in front of crowds, not before seen by the youngsters representing the home county.
"It was a big crowd," Braswell said. "Everybody comes to the games. Besides playing the state tournament and getting deep into the state tournament in high school, they were some of the biggest crowds you get to play in front of."
As the Dixie Boys World Series returns to Newton County beginning Friday, Braswell won't be able to play in front of those big crowds, but will still be there four years later.
This time, he will be one of the spectators rooting on Newton County and the rest of the youngsters who have dreamed of reaching this level much like he once did.
"It was fun," Braswell said. "It felt good to be playing in it, especially being in your home town with everybody being able to come out and see you."
The 2012 Dixie Boys World Series begins Friday with a banquet and opening ceremonies in the Covington square.
North Carolina and South Carolina, along with Louisiana and Arkansas kick things off on the field against each other with games at 1 p.m. Saturday.