UNION — The Exxon of Union Dixie Boys (ages 13-14) baseball team are the City Champions for their division.
The 13- and 14-year-olds on the Exxon of Union team went undefeated throughout the regular season and the playoffs for the championship. Players included Christian Humphries, Garris Hendrix, Rhett Cannon, Holden Cook, Lucas Austin, Payton Deskins, Blake Johnson, Luke Edens, Jaylon Wallington, Weston Foster, Cain Foster, Tykevius Kershaw, Bam Bam Rice and Quiyann Worthy. Coaches were Monty Cook, Kevin Hendrix, Mike Hardin, Benji Humphries and Jeff Cannon.
With half the team returning from last year, Coach Monty Cook said he knew he had something special when the team began practicing at the beginning of the season.
“I’ve never had a team with that many pitchers,” Cook said, explaining that there were always substitute pitchers available who pitched just as well as the players for whom they were subbing.
“We never missed a beat at any position.”
Cook also said eight of the 14 players made the Dixie Boys All-Stars team.
Cook believes the team’s success is owed to the players’ discipline and dedication.
“A lot of them were involved in different sports, and only one guy missed practice all year — and it was church related,” Cook said. “They were very disciplined, and you rarely see that in a group that age.”
Many of the players on the team were already familiar with Cook, as he had coached them on various championship teams when they were younger.
“A lot of them came back this year, and we were able to put another championship team together,” Cook said.
Cook said about half the team will return next year, and he looks to have another good season. He said he is thankful for the coaches and parents of the team. Cook said his fellow coaches had a huge impact.
“I was told a long time ago that if you want to be successful, surround yourself with good people,” Cook said. “If you want to be a successful coach, surround yourself with good coaches, and you’ll be successful.”