on August 1, 2009 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Seneca kicks off Dixie Boys World Series in style

Seneca rolled out the red carpet for the 12 teams competing in the Dixie Boys World Series, beginning today at the Shaver Recreation Complex.

The city welcomed the teams from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia with all the pageantry and fanfare you would anticipate a World Series to offer.

First the city picked up each team in their own CAT bus and with a police escort drove them to Cross Creek Plantation for a steak dinner. Then the teams loaded back on the buses and went to the Shaver Complex for pictures and more festivities.

“I thought everything went great,” said Seneca Recreation Director Rick Lacey. “The staff and all the city departments have done so much to make this a successful tournament and I think we’re off to a good start. The kids really seemed to like the buses and police escort. The fireworks were a big hit too.”

The guest speaker for the opening ceremonies was former Seneca High School standout and Major League pitcher Britt Reames, who gave an inspirational talk to the teams and wished them well in the upcoming tournament.

“I just wanted to give them some advice and tell them to take advantage of these opportunities because they don’t come along often,” Reames said. “I remember playing here and it was where I fell in love with baseball. This will be a great tournament for these kids and I hope they all enjoy it.”

Reames also shared some advice with the host team from Seneca, which is comprised of all-stars from throughout Oconee County.

“I just told them to relax and play ball,” he said. “I told them to have fun and let the game come to them rather than try to force things.”

Despite being a major league pitcher for six year, Reames still wanted the opportunity to swing the bat and prove himself to the all-star teams in the Home Run Derby. Reames belted six homers in just five outs and all his home runs went deep into the woods.

The kids seemed to like meeting Reames and hearing his inspirational message.

“It was neat to hear him talk about the majors and how he started here in Seneca,” said Sam Lacey, a member of the Seneca team. “I’m excited about the World Series and I look forward to playing all these other great teams from around the south. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I never thought I would be here.”

Visitors to Seneca are also excited about the five-day tournament.

“This is my fifth World Series and we fought real hard to get here by winning a very difficult state tournament,” said Olin Berthelot, head coach of the Louisiana team. “I’m excited and I know my team is excited about playing here in Seneca. The complex looks great and you can tell that people have worked hard on these fields to make them look so good.”

The double-elimination tournament begins today with games scheduled for 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Game times will remain the same for Sunday. On Monday, games will begin at 10 a.m. and the final game on the day will start at 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday games are slated for 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

All participating players and coaches will receive medallions. World Series trophies will be awarded to the first-place team, second-place team, and to the team exhibiting the best sportsmanship throughout the tournament. World Series Mementos will also be awarded to all players and coaches on the World Series Championship team.

Daily admission to the World Series is $5 for adults with kids 6 and under admitted free.