By D. Mark Mitchell
The Opelika Dixie Boys baseball team (14-year olds) will be the host team in the district tournament that starts tonight at Harrelson Field at West Ridge Park.
The tournament is double elimination and features 11 teams. The winner will advance to the state tournament in Piedmont on July 20.
Last year, as 13-year olds, Opelika won the district and state tournaments and finished third in the World Series.
The team won three games last weekend in the sub-district tournament in Auburn.
Opelika defeated Phenix City, 16-0; Auburn, 24-2 and Smiths Station,15-0.
They onyl played 13 innings for the three games due to the mercy rule, which allows the game to end if one team is ahead by 10 runs after five innings.
The team members are: Jesse Baker, Tanner Blatt, Chase Buffington, Kent Bugg, Ryan Carlisle, Jackson Grigsby, Brandon Knowles, Chris Manley, Trevor May, Bryant Norrell, Heath Senn, Gage Young and Blake Yountz. Leadership is provided by manager Ben Bugg and coaches Adrian Yountz and Stephen Farr.
The Opelika 14’s racked up a combined 47 hits including seven home runs. Jackson Grigsby and Trevor May led the team with seven hits apiece. Gage Young had six hits, Tanner Blatt and Heath Senn added five hits each and Chris Manley and Kent Bugg had four hits apiece. Jessie Baker, Chase Buffington, Brandon Knowles, Ryan Carlisle and Blake Yountz each added multiple hits.
Seven players pitched, allowing two runs in three total games.
The Opelika Dixie Boys will play at 7:30 p.m. Friday night in the opening round of the tournament.
The tournament bracket is located elsewhere in the sports section.
Opelika Seadawgs Swim Team
The Opelika Parks and Recreation Department swim team, “Opelika Seadawgs,” have 72 swimmers on the team. The team has competed in five meets and swam against Prattville, Tallassee, Alex City, Sylacauga, Talledega, Valley, Eufaula, Troy and Andalusia. The Seadawgs will compete in the district swim meet in Valley on July 13 through 14.
The Opelika Sportsplex and Aquatics Center will be the site for the 2012 ARPA state swim meet July 27 and 28. The meet will bring in 1,500 swimmers from all over the state. The meet will have 80 different events.
There will be approximately 5,000 people visiting Opelika over a three day period during this meet. The economic impact will be incredible for the city of Opelika.
Opelika High School Athletics
The OHS Athletic Department has given the athletes a break for two weeks. The coaches and athletes will start back in the middle of July.
Congratulations to Coach Brian Blackmon
The OHS head coach and athletic director was picked to be the offensive coordinator for the South All-Star team for next week’s North vs. South All-Star football game in Montgomery.
Opelika graduates Demius Frazier and Braden Rogers will represent OHS in the game.
Keep up with Opelika athletics by listening to “On the Mark” radio show weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on WTLM 1520 AM or on the web at kickerfm.com