Valley 10U’s district win: State awaits

Published 9:30 am Thursday, June 8, 2023

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The Valley 10U team is heading to state after a 10-3 win over Dadeville Tuesday in the district championship. 

The Valley Sportsplex hosted a five day tournament for Dixie Youth Baseball’s District 10. Beauregard, Beulah, Reeltown, Dadeville, Russell County, and Valley each brought a team to the tournament. 

Valley won all five of its games in the tournament. Valley was dominant throughout the tournament and mercy ruled several of the teams that they played. 

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Valley was coached by Head Coach Jeremy Earl, Superintendent and first base coach Casey Chambley, and dugout coach Justin Whitehead. 

Valley will now take a trip to Headland on June 23 and try to bring home another state championship for the 10 and under group. 

The Valley Sportsplex has hosted for several years. Athletics Manager Mark Hudmon believes that these tournaments do wonders for the community. 

“It brings out people in the community that don’t even have kids on the team,” Hudmon said. “That’s always good to see. The other teams bring in a lot of people too. It’s good for our community.” 

Sending a local team to the state tournament makes hosting the tournament that much sweeter. Hudmon believes that sending a local team to the state tournament will help to continue to build the athletic program in Valley. 

“Just shows you know that your program is producing state caliber teams,” Hudmon said. “It helps you out in the future. You kind of build that reputation.”

Valley has had several teams go to the state tournament in the past. Hudmon has high expectations for this year’s 10 and under team because they remind him of another team that won at a high level. 

“We had one team win the World Series when they were nine and 10,” Hudmon said. “This group kinda reminds me of that group. I’d like to see us make some noise down there [in Headland] and go back to the World Series.” 

This year’s 10 and under team for Valley is made up of several young kids that are just nine years old. The state tournament will be a great learning experience for them, and it should build them up to be even better next season. 

Head Coach Jeremy Earl was beaming with pride as he witnessed his team lift up the trophy for winning the district championship. 

“They battled all the way through,” Earl said. “They never got down as a team. I’m proud of them for that. They battled all the way through six innings, and you can’t ask for more than that.” 

Earl knows that younger teams like his can sometimes be unpredictable when it comes to tournaments like the one they will play in at the end of June. 

“You never know with nine and 10 year old groups,” Earl said. “So, we’re gonna take it as it comes.” 

Earl still knows that the job is not finished yet, and he is ready to get back to work on preparing the kids for the state tournament. 

In the upcoming weeks, Valley will be working on fielding and hitting. One of the things Earl stressed after the game was limiting the amount of errors that his team gives up. 

“If we can take care of those, I think we have a good little run,” Earl said.