Demopolis Elite, UWA teams holding Soccer Fest Sunday

The University of West Alabama men’s and women’s soccer programs are teaming with Demopolis Elite for a special event. The entities will pair for Soccer Fest and a training session Sunday from 3-5 p.m. at the Demopolis Sports-Plex.

The event is open to children ages five and up and is free of charge.

Maverick takes third place in Southern Nationals

The Maverick 12U travel softball team based out of Demopolis competed in the NSA Southern Nationals in Foley July 25-29. Maverick brought home third place after a 3-1 loss to the Lady Bombers of North Alabama punctuated the tournament.

Maverick competed for some 14 hours on the final elimination day of the draw, playing three games consecutively to close the proceedings. Maverick wraps its spring/summer season with five championship round appearances in 10 tournaments totaling 47 games to their record.

Maverick is set to resume fall playing September as it looks to best its marks from the previous season. More information on the squad is available on Facebook at Marengo Maverick.

The team is coached by Cobey Rowley, Bill March, Jake Rich, Randall Smith and Brian Brown.

The team consists of:

Haylee Rowley – P

Ashton Moorer – P

Cloie Henry – C

Kyla Brown – 1B

Tsianina Autery – 2B

Emily Schroeder – SS

Audrey Marsh – 3B

Lauren Smith – LF

Stevani Foster – CF

Weezie Hughes – SS

Mallory Sluder – RF

Demopolis 12U softball holding bake sale for state tourney

The Demopolis 12U All-Star Softball Team is set to hold a bake sale Wednesday, June 15 from 8 a.m. until noon in front of Hardware Plus on Cedar Avenue.

The team will be selling cakes, cookies, cupcakes, cake pops and other goodies as well as lemonade in an effort to raise enough funds for the state tournament in Calera set for the final weekend of June.

Marengo Maverick softball team opens fall season in Centreville

Pictured above are (back row) Caroline Larkin, Mary Creigh Smith, Stevani Foster, Wessie Jacobs and Emily Lovette. Front row are Lizzie Cannon, Haylee Rowley, Weezie Hughes, Tayler Pipkins and Madison Ford. Coaches are Russell Pipkins, Jason Cannon and Cobey Rowley.

Pictured above are (back row) Caroline Larkin, Mary Creigh Smith, Stevani Foster, Wessie Jacobs and Emily Lovette. Front row are Lizzie Cannon, Haylee Rowley, Weezie Hughes, Tayler Pipkins and Madison Ford. Coaches are Russell Pipkins, Jason Cannon and Cobey Rowley.

The Marengo Maverick launched its fall season Saturday in the Swing Into Fall Tournament in Centreville. A 12U softball team featuring 10 girls from Demopolis, Linden and Livingston, the Maverick competed in a field that included more than 20 other teams.

“All our girls have played softball for years but they had never played a game together,” Jason Cannon, one of the team’s coaches, said. ”We went into Centreville just looking to work out the first game jitters and get some game experience.”

The Maverick dropped all three of its games including one to Tuscaloosa-based All-Out, the eventual champion.

“The goal for this first tournament was just to play well and take back some experience,” Cannon said. “We did that, and we showed a lot of fight and character in the process. Good things are ahead for this team once experience catches up with their ability.”

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Helping that experience meet that ability is one of the designs of the program, an initiative the group’s coaches are using to help bridge gap between the end of the summer season and the start of league competition in the spring.

“We wanted to give these girls a place to play during the fall. Some of them cheer. Some of them play soccer. But some of them don’t. Once the spring is over with, they don’t really have anything to do, so they sit around the house and wait for softball season to start back over,” Cannon said. “What we were trying to do was give them a little break in the fall, play fall ball, give them a little break in the winter and they’ll roll into spring.”

“Just to let the girls get a little more playing time, experience and play some different teams in different places,” Russell Pipkins, one of the team’s coaches, explained. “We just want to try to get them a little bit more than what they normally get, keep them active during the year.”

For the tournament, Emily Lovette led Maverick batters, going 2-for-3 from the plate, including a three-run homer. Weezie Hughes, Caroline Larkin and Lizzie Cannon followed, each going 1-for-3. Madison Ford was 1-for-2.

Cannon, Larkin, Haylee Rowley and Tayler Pipkins each got time in the pitcher’s circle. Cannon threw 4 1/3 innings with 5 strikeouts. Rowley logged 2 1/3 innings while Larkin and Pipkins got one inning each.

The Maverick is set for its next tournament Oct. 3 in Cottondale.

“If we come out of the fall having played 12 or 15 games, I think we’d all be pretty happy with that,” Cannon said.

The team consists of Lizzie Cannon, Haylee Rowley, Tayler Pipkins, Mary Creigh Smith, Caroline Larkin, Wessie Jacobs, Stevani Foster, Weezie Hughes, Madison Ford and Emily Lovette.

Registration now open for Demopolis Youth Softball

Tryouts for the 2015 Demopolis Dixie Youth Softball season will be held Feb. 21 at the Demopolis SportsPlex. In the event of foul weather, tryouts will be moved to Synergy the same day and time.

Dates for try-outs and draft are as follows: 4-6 year old Sweeties – No try-out; 7-8 year old Darlings – Saturday, February 21st @ 10 a.m., SportsPlex Field 7; 9-10 year old Angels – Saturday, February 21st @ noon, SportsPlex Field 7; 11-12 year old Ponytails – Saturday, February 21st @ 2 p.m., SportsPlex Field 7.

Tryouts for the 13-15 age group will be announced at a later date.

The organization is coming off another successful season, which included hosting the 2014 District 8 all star tournament.

“Our girls are building momentum season after season,” league president Carrie Jackson says. “Last year, our Ponytails made it to the state tournament, and our Angels fell just one game short of making it. We’re hoping to see another strong push to Enterprise (where the state tournament is held) from all our girls this season.”

Registration fees for this coming season for Sweeties are $50. All other age groups are $55 for the first child and $50 for each additional child. There will be a $10 late fee per child for registering after the Feb. 19 registration deadline.

Registration fees cover the cost of a player’s jersey and socks, a minor tweak from years past.

“In the past fees have covered a jersey and visors, but the girls rarely wear the visors and they are quickly lost,” Jackson says of the change. “Parents and coaches have always come out of their own pockets for the bright and colorful uniform socks, so we decided to include those this year instead. The socks have become a more important part of the uniform than the visor with the players.”

Registration forms are available at Hibbett Sports. You can find DDYSL on facebook at “Demopolis Youth Softball”.

For more information, or if you are interested in coaching or assisting, please contact a board member. They are Jim Parr, Cobey Rowley, Elizabeth Smith, Ronnie Abrams, Emilie McGee, Kirk Stephens, Ed Nettles, Carrie Jackson and Jason Cannon.

Demopolis Elite launching recreational soccer league

The Demopolis Elite soccer program has spent the summer training youth players at its free weekly clinics. Now, the city’s newest soccer organization is ready to open its first season of play.

The league will operate a recreational league with two seasons of play; one beginning in August and running into December while the spring season will begin in April.

The structure will allow the league to accommodate avid soccer players who want to be involved in the sport year-round as well as those who are only able to commit to one season annually. Players can register now for one season or for the entire year.

The league will open with an intra-city style format in which players be divided into teams and play competitively against their neighbors and classmates. Ultimately, Demopolis Elite aims to field teams that will compete against counterparts from other cities.

Demopolis Elite will use the five collegiate coaches affiliated with its organization to help train not only players, but also parents who desire to be coaches in the league or just want to learn more about the game. The Demopolis Elite coaching clinic will be Aug. 9 from 9 a.m. to noon.

As much as Demopolis Elite organizers are excited about a new brand of soccer, the organization adopted its motto “More than soccer” for a reason.

“We want to help combat the problem of childhood illnesses associated with sedentary lifestyle like childhood obesity, asthma, hypertension and diabetes,” Dr. Ronnie Chu, soccer enthusiast and one of the founders of the organization, said. “This cause is supported by a number of doctors here in Demopolis and consultants from out of town.”

With that cause in view, Demopolis Elite has secured partnerships with local businesses such as Workaholics as well as a number of local doctors.

“Eventually Demopolis Elite wants to secure some grants and be able to teach wellness, fitness via the game of soccer, provide scholarships for players and also have nutritionists and dietitians to help children with their health problems,” Chu said. “Elite also wants to involve the whole surrounding area including Linden, Faunsdale, south Marengo county and the neighboring cities of Greensboro and Livingston.”

Registration for Demopolis Elite’s recreational league is open now at Chu Clinic, LuLu’s Coffee and Hibbett Sports.

Demopolis Elite is slated to hold its Soccer Fest Saturday, Aug. 23 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Sweet Water 12U team takes Southeast Regional, heads for World Series

The Team Members are: John Parker Brock, Braiden Broussard, Jerrod Dailey, Reed Joiner, Tate Jordan, Garrett Lewis, Stratton Lewis, Xavier Lucy, Dylan Mendenhall, Landon Pritchett, and Jadyn Smith.  Manager is Chad Broussard with Assistant Coaches Ford Lewis and Joe Joiner.

The Team Members are: Cardarius Wilson, John Parker Brock, Braiden Broussard, Jerrod Dailey, Reed Joiner, Tate Jordan, Garrett Lewis, Stratton Lewis, Xavier Lucy, Dylan Mendenhall, Landon Pritchett, and Jadyn Smith. Manager is Chad Broussard with Assistant Coaches Ford Lewis and Joe Joiner.

By Joe Joiner

The Alabama State Champion Sweet Water 12U All-Stars traveled to Staunton, Va. last week and returned home as the South Regional Champions and will now represent the Southeastern Region in the Cal Ripken 12/60 World Series held in Alachua, Fla. beginning Aug. 5.

Sweet Water opened its tournament run with a 13-3 win against the Glen Allen, Va. All-Stars. The Sweet Water offense was led by John Parker Brock, Stratton Lewis, and Xavier Lucy, who each recorded two hits in the contest. Braiden Broussard, Reed Joiner, Tate Jordan and Jerrod Dailey also contributed one hit each for the Bulldogs. Joiner connected on a two-run homerun and Broussard and Jordan each had doubles to account for the Sweet Water extra-base hits.

On the mound, Braiden Broussard, JP Brock, Reed Joiner, and Garrett Lewis combined to hold Glen Allen to four hits while accounting for 12 strikeouts.

Game two pitted Sweet Water against the homestanding Staunton, Va. All-Stars. Sweet Water’s hitting attack was held in check and Staunton defeated the Bulldogs 11-4. On offense, Sweet Water was led by Garrett Lewis and Tate Jordan who each produced two hits. Braiden Broussard, Stratton Lewis, and Landon Pritchett each had one hit for the Bulldogs. The only extra-base hits for Sweet Water were produced by Broussard with a double and Garrett Lewis with a triple. JP Brock and Dylan Mendenhall pitched for the Bulldogs scattering nine hits and collecting 10 strikeouts.

In game three, Sweet Water bounced back to the win column with a 13-2 triumph over the Winter Park, N.C. All-Stars. The Bulldogs collected 15 hits in the contest and were led by Garrett Lewis with four hits in the game. Dylan Mendenhall turned in a three-hit performance and Reed Joiner and Landon Pritchett each had two hits. Braiden Broussard, Cardarius Wilson, Stratton Lewis and Tate Jordan each collected one hit in the game. Extra-base hits were produced by Broussard, who blasted a 3-run homerun, Joiner who connected on a solo blast, and Garrett Lewis who turned in a double.

From the mound, Braiden Broussard turned in a five-inning complete game, giving up five hits while collecting 12 strikeouts.

In game four, Sweet Water lost to the Halifax County, Va. All-Stars 11-8. The Bulldogs tallied seven hits in the contest. Braiden Broussard, Dylan Mendenhall, Reed Joiner, JP Brock, Cardarius Wilson, Jaydn Smith and Landon Pritchett all had one hit in the game. Extra-base hits were contributed by Joiner with a 2-run homerun, Mendenhall with a triple, Broussard with a double and Wilson with a double.

Garrett Lewis and Dylan Mendenhall handled the pitching duties for Sweet Water, gathering 10 strikeouts and scattering nine hits.

With the pool play games completed, Sweet Water advanced to bracket play to a semi-final contest against the Southern Pitt, N.C. All-Stars. The Bulldogs started strong and defeated Southern Pitt 9-5 to advance to the final. The hitting attack produced 12 hits and was led by Braiden Broussard, Dylan Mendenhall, Garrett Lewis, Stratton Lewis and Xavier Lucy, who each produced two hits. Reed Joiner and Landon Pritchett also contributed one hit each for the Bulldogs. The extra base hitters for Sweet Water were Broussard, who hit a solo homerun, and Stratton Lewis, who connected on a 2-run homerun. On the mound, Reed Joiner turned in a six-inning complete game, collecting five strikeouts and allowing six hits.

In the championship game, Sweet Water faced the Halifax County All-Stars in a rematch. The Bulldogs avenged their earlier loss to Halifax with a dominating 9-1 victory in the final. The Sweet Water offense again set the tone and put the Bulldogs out front early for a lead they would not relinquish. The hitting attack was led by Garrett Lewis with three hits. Braiden Broussard, JP Brock, and Stratton Lewis each turned in two hits each while Dylan Mendenhall and Xavier Lucy each had one hit. Broussard led the extra-base hit category with a 3-run homerun and a solo blast in the game while Stratton Lewis contributed a double. Braiden Broussard handled the pitching duties for the Bulldogs by pitching a six-inning complete game, only allowing four hits and picking up 11 strikeouts.

Next up for the Sweet Water team is a trip to the Cal Ripken 12/60 World Series held in Alachua, Fla. on Aug. 5. Congratulations to this special team of young men and GO DOGS!

West Alabama Wild travel ball team takes second at tourney

2014 Wild 12U

Amelia Thomas, Whitney Brasell, Elly Brown, Mae Etheridge, Kaitlyn Walters, BreAnna Ramsey., Laken Harvell, Sierra Myers, Brianna Crim, Keller Dunnam and Haven Collins.

The West Alabama Wild 12U travel softball team finished in second place at “The Battle of the Bats Liberty” USSSA Tournament on Saturday, May 17. There were 12 teams from across Alabama competing at Liberty Park in Birmingham. The West Alabama Wild 12U was coached by Randy Walters and Beverly Thomas.

Dixie Youth announces tryout times

Tryouts for the 2014 Demopolis Dixie Youth Softball season will be held Feb. 22 at the Demopolis SportsPlex. In the event of foul weather, tryouts will be moved to Synergy the same day and time.

Times for try-outs and drafts are as follows:

• 4-6 year old Sweeties – No try-out;

• 7-8 year old Darlings – Saturday, February 22nd @ 10 a.m., SportsPlex Field 7;

• 9-10 year old Angels – Saturday, February 22nd @ noon, SportsPlex Field 7;

• 11-12 year old Ponytails – Saturday, February 22nd @ 2 p.m., SportsPlex Field 7.

Tryouts for the 13-15 age group will be announced at a later date.

Those wanting to register for this coming season may also register Saturday before their age group holds its tryout session.

The DDYSL board says registration numbers for this year are strong across all its age groups, making the Demopolis SportsPlex the place to be this spring.

“We’re looking forward to a very competitive season this year from 5 years old on up to our teenagers,” DDYSL President Jason Cannon said. “There is also usually a strong late registration push, so we’re expecting to have very good year with lots of girls.”

Registration forms are available online at at www.DemopolisYouthSoftball.com and you can find DDYSL on facebook at “Demopolis Youth Softball.”

For more information, please contact the player representatives for your child’s age group. They are:

• Kirk Stephens, tee-ball;

• Elizabeth Smith, 7-8 year-olds;

• Cobey Rowley, 9-10 year-olds;

• Carrie Jackson, 11-12 year-olds;

• Angie Weeks, 13-15 year-olds.

Other board members are Wanda Dunklin, Lee Jordan and Valley Harrison.

For those with children from outside Demopolis whose local Dixie Youth league did not have enough players to make a given age group, the Demopolis league is available for play. Parents wishing to capitalize on that opportunity must bring their children to the age-appropriate tryouts Saturday.

Cal Ripken baseball registration open

Cal Ripken Spring Ball is here! Registration is Jan. 24 through Fridayn Feb. 14.

Forms can be picked up at Hibbett Sports or players can register online at demopolisyouthbaseball.com for $5 less. Tryouts will be Saturday, Feb. 22. with drafts beginning the following week.