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Kudos to the coaches

Although this year's ball season has not been without controversy – both in the grand scale of the majors and the smaller scale of the hometown teams – it, has, for Andalusia, been a very good year indeed.

The Andalusia Dixie Majors came home this week and brought an impressive trophy with them as the state champions. But that impressive

bit of statuary is only a symbol for a far more impressive

bit of work. The efforts that go into making a championship team must come from all levels – from the coaches and players, the patient, determined and encouraging parents, and especially the community that supports them, whether it is merely a dollar dropped in a bucket, or a crowd cheering them on at the ballfield.

The coaches, Terry Pickard and Steve Bryant, are to be highly commended for their skillful guidance of the young men. The young men themselves, Gary Baumgartner, Brock Bracewell, Jay Bryant, Shane Dawsey, Ryan Mitchell, Craig Phillips, Gene Pickard, Shane Prater, Will Starr, Daniel Wall and Mark Wall, are to be commended for their deidcation and hard work.

But for every member of the team, there are at least three others in support. There are the other teams who provided a season, if not a player and other coaches who have helped them throughout their lives.

Then they are the hundreds of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters and friends who have in many, many ways, shown their support for the team.

As the Dixie Majors head off to Louisiana this weekend, they go as amabassadors of Alabama and ambassadors of Andalusia. They represent not only excellent athletic skills, but teamwork and volunteerism.

We don't mean just the teamwork that gets the ball around the field and the opponents out, but the kind of teamwork that requires an entire community of volunteers who donate times, goods and services for the sake of our young players.

The

cliche is "It doesn't matter if you win or lose, it's how you play the game."

The players, the coaches, the supporters in Andalusia play the game very well.