PURVIS, MS (WDAM) - On Thursday morning, the Purvis Tornadoes will board a plane bound for North Carolina. What awaits the team in North Carolina? Well, only time will tell. But what potentially could be coming back to Purvis with the team is a national championship trophy.
The Tornadoes will play in the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series, and are the first ever Mississippi squad to represent Purvis. What's more, the team faced grueling competition in order to earn that trip.
After winning their district title, the team still had win the regional title, as well as the state championship, which featured the nine best teams in the state. After grabbing the final out to punch their ticket to the World Series, Tornado Pitcher Keyshawn Bolar said he was almost in tears.
At the same time, he realizes the job is not done, and the dream is still alive. "I think it's going to be pretty fun, though we're going to have some good challenges. So, we can't just do what we've been doing," said Bolar.
For a handful of these players, what they've been doing goes far beyond the accomplishments of this year. Around seven players on the current roster have played together since there first days on the baseball field.
While winning it all would be an absolute "dream come true," as catcher Casey Burge put it, head coach Trey Kendrick understands to do so would mean climbing past the stiffest competition in the country.
"Heading to the World Series, there's ten other states representing there, and they've all sent their best," said Kendrick, "We expect to see heavy competition, and really really great pitching. I'm sure they're all good hitters, and we just feel privileged to go, and we hope that we can be competitive."
Regardless of what competition awaits them in North Carolina, the team understands what an experience it will be, and they plan to enjoy every minute of of it.
So the Tornadoes took to the practice field for the last time on Tuesday before making the trip up to North Carolina. A rather cool night, much cooler than in weeks past, welcomed the state champs to the field, the stadium lights shining on the diamond.
They'll get Wednesday off in order to prepare for their trip on Thursday, but Tuesday featured some of their regular routine. As the team scrimmaged for one last time on their home practice turf, catcher Burge stepped to the sideline just for a second.
When asked what he expected from this tournament, a huge smile formed on his face as he said, "I think we're going to win it."
Copyright 2011 WDAM. All rights reserved.