By Cory L. Higgs
The Patrick County Rotary Club hosted a dinner to honor the homegrown sports team, the Patrick County All-Stars (“O” Zone), for their journey from the dugouts of Patrick County to the Dixie Youth World Series in Ruston, Louisiana.
The Dixie Youth World Series was Aug. 2 in Ruston, Louisiana. Eleven teams — hailing from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, South Carolina, and Virginia — were all there, vying for the title of Dixie Youth World Series Champions.
The “O” Zones valiantly played and beat two others teams, before they eliminated after two losses.
The team came in 5th out of the 11 teams from around the Southern U.S.
Head Coach Brain Jessup said it was a feat and honor just to be there.
Other teams in the series had pools of thousands to choose from, Jessup said. “It was pretty significant for a small rural area with a small draw pool” to make it so far, Jessup said, adding that other teams had thousands of players to pick from; Jessup said he had only 47.
Despite the odds, the local team made it into the world series – a feat that only four other teams have done since 1955.
Because of their accomplishment and the attention the team brought to Patrick County, the Rotary Club wanted to show their support and tell the team they were proud of their local team, according to Patti Hazelwood, a former president and now member of the Rotary Club’s board of directors.
“We wanted to have a celebration just for them, we wanted to give them a pat on their back and show them how proud we are of them,” she said.
Team members included Lucas Taylor, son of Rob and Cheryl Taylor; Easton Harris, son of Terry and April Harris; Noah Jessup, son of Brian and Traci Jessup; Chance Corns, son of Chad and Amy Corns; Broc Taylor, son of Andrew Taylor and Jordan Taylor; David Lawson, son of DJ and Miranda Lawson; Hunter Heath, son of Randy and Sandra Heath; Hunter Pendleton, son of Tony and Amy Pendleton; Stuart Callahan, son of Stuart Callahan, Sr and Misty Roberts; Jackson Horton, son of Blake and Dee Horton; Gavin Fain, son of Jerimiah and Melody Fain and Avery Brintle, son of Eric and Bethany Brintle.
Jessup served as head coach, assisted by DJ Lawson, Michael Hall, Rob Taylor and Chad Corns.