High school baseball has a deep history in the Pinebelt region. That tradition will be on full display this week throughout the area at five local high schools as area teams host the third annual Adidas Deep South baseball tournament.
The tournament began Monday afternoon at Sumrall High School, the main host and last year's tournament winner. Other schools hosting games throughout the week are Purvis, Columbia, Oak Grove and Petal. A championship game will be held Saturday at Larry Knight Field in Sumrall.
With so much talent around the area, local coaches say it is great to be able to showcase their teams as well as those in the area right here at home. Columbia head baseball coach Greg Owen said, "That's the best thing (playing at home). We just got back last weekend from the mid Mississippi and you're playing a lot of good teams, but you're playing away you don't really know the guys you're competing against... Here you get to play at home and it's some of the best talent around even compared to those other tournaments. You're still playing the best, if not better talent, right here at home."
Oak Grove head coach Chris McCardle said it is great to be able to compete against other coaches from the area who are good friends of his on such a big stage. "All these guys are friends, and we talk all through the year about other teams and stuff. When we get on the field, we're competitive, but when we're off the field we're not. It's a good tournament."
For a full schedule of games throughout the week, check Sumrall athletics website.