BONIFAY, Fla. (WMBB) – One Holmes County youth baseball team is heading to the Dixie World Series for the first time ever this week.
The Holmes County 11-12 Ozone baseball team punched their ticket to the big tournament after winning the state championship in Sebring on July 16.
“I’ve been around the ball for 40 years and to reach the mountaintop as a coach was very emotional for me and I couldn’t imagine what it’s like for the kids,'” head coach Trey Cook said.
The team has been playing at a high level, outscoring their opponents at the state tournament 75 runs to 8 in just six games.
“As a coach it’s pretty easy to put your lineup down when your guys are hitting like that and that’s one thing I can say is that you really can’t take a breath with our lineup, those guys all of them hit from top to bottom they’re not gonna give away an at-bat, they’re gonna battle, they’re gonna battle those pitches, they’re gonna make you work,” Cook said.
Even though this 18-1 team is doing everything right out on the diamond, they still have never played on a stage like this before.
Cook said he has a way of calming some of those nerves.
“When we go to a new park we always go out and we measure the distance from third base to the foul line, the warning track to the fence, the distance behind home plate, just things that are similar to where we are at so we’ll know how we need to play the game how much room we have. It’s things when you do that it kind of gets them out of the element of being surprised of how nice the place is or how different it is and they realize man this is a lot like what we have at home,” Cook said.
The young squad is very excited to get on the road to Laurel, Mississippi on Wednesday, but know they really couldn’t have done it without the support of their hometown.
“Been a real breath of fresh air to see how generous people are in the local community and they’ll get behind a group of kids and support them. That’s something you don’t see every day anymore. I’m really thankful that our community has really reached out with open arms and embraced this opportunity,” Cook said.
The city is sending the team off on Wednesday afternoon with a parade down Bonifay’s Main Street at noon.