City recognizes state tourney team

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 17, 2006

Greenville's first-ever state tournament baseball team was recognized on Monday night, earning praise from Mayor Dexter McLendon and city officials.

McLendon said it was important to honor the accomplishments of the 13 members of the team and their coaches.

&#8220I'll refer to you as district champions, but I'd much rather refer to you as the first ever Greenville Dixie Youth baseball team to ever make it to the state tournament,” McLendon said. &#8220From coaching, I know how hard it is to do what you've done and it's something know one can ever take away from you.”

The Dixie Youth All-Stars beat Luverne 1-0 to claim the district title, but fell in two consecutive games, losing to Moulton 5-2 and falling to Clanton 4-2 in 11 innings at the state tournament in Montgomery.

But memories of those losses were distant on Monday night as McLendon presented each player with a certificate of accomplishment, and coaches Chris Tesmer, Gene Moody and Chuck Armstrong with commemorative plaques.

McLendon even offered a brief history lesson and talked about how Greenville moved from Little League sponsorship to a program sponsored by local Jaycees in 1965.

He even tossed a good-natured jibe at council member Ed Sims.

&#8220In the first game of the season Ed Sims retired the first seven batters he faced before giving up six straight runs in the third as the Giants fell to the Red Sox, 11-6,” McLendon read.

&#8220Ladies and gentlemen,” McLendon gestured to Sims as everyone laughed. &#8220The first losing pitcher in Dixie Youth baseball.”

That year's first tournament team withdrew from the tourney with a 1-1 record due to the death of their teammate Gene Day in a drowning.

&#8220Day Memorial Field is named in his honor,” said McLendon. &#8220It's important that you know that because Gene Day should never be forgotten.”

Team members of the 2006 Greenville Dixie Youth All-Stars are: Cody Tesmer, Mitch Young, Brandon Matthews, Andy Burns, Dalton Burns, Ryan Taylor, Briar Kirby, Hunter Armstrong, Jackson Mims, Raymond Moody, Stephen Till, Skylar McKeown, and Charlie Scofield.