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Clanton O-Zone team to compete for state title

The Clanton O-Zone will continue the trend of high-powered baseball teams representing Chilton County well this summer.

They will play in the Dixie Youth Baseball state tournament this weekend in Eufala. The all-star team, ages 11-12, first squares off against the state’s District 8 winner on Saturday afternoon at 5:30 at the Old Creek Town Park.

Assistant coach and Clanton Dixie Youth President George Ramsey said the players are eager to hit the diamond during a real game after weeks of grueling practices.

“They’re tired of practicing,” he said. “They’re ready to play. They’ve been practicing for about two weeks. After you do that much without playing, it gets mundane. They’re raring to go.”

Ramsey, whose son Colby plays catcher, and other coaches are pleased with the effort the O-Zone players have given so far this summer. Only having lost one game, the team has good depth at pitching and manages to hit the ball in clutch situations.

“They’ve played great,” Ramsey said. “This group of kids has been together for several years now. If they show up and play how we all think and know they can play, we can win the tournament. You’ve got to go into the tournament with high expectations.”

Ramsey said the pitchers listen to their coaches’ advice of “pitching to the mitt” and hitting their targets precisely, making it very difficult for hitters to make contact.

He also said the hitters are doing everything necessary to win ballgames.

If the O-Zone win, they play Sunday at 6 p.m. If they lose, they play that same day at 2:30 p.m.