Pictured above with trophy, Dixie Youth Baseball World Series representatives present Sportsmanship Award to Seminole County’s Reed Phillips and Coach Stephen Scott
Seminole County’s Dixie Youth O-Zone 11- and 12-year-old baseball Allstar team played in the 2021 Dixie Youth World Series last week in Laurel, Mississippi, and even though they didn’t come back with a national championship, they still returned winners, placing third in the tournament.
On Wednesday of last week Seminole County was notified that it had also won – what many consider to be the biggest prize of the tournament – the O-Zone Sportsmanship Award, voted on by league officials and umpires. The award “is presented annually to the team in each World Series which, to the greatest degree, demonstrates the character and traits for which this program was organized,” according to the Dixie Youth website.
“That (award) is really, really, really big, and one of the national directors of Dixie Youth told me that they treat that award as big or bigger than winning the whole thing. So that’s pretty special to the boys that you can play at a high quality level and still be Seminole County gentlemen,” commented Seminole County Recreation Department Director Billy Fain.
“Coming from this, win or lose in whatever you do, if you can treat others the way you want to be treated, then you’re always going to be a winner.” added Fain.
In the World Series tournament Seminole County defeated teams from Alabama and Texas, before losing to the team from Florida 2-1, and the team from Mississippi 9-5.
The coaches and the players extend a heartfelt thank you to Donalsonville and the Seminole County community for supporting the team and assisting in raising the funds needed for the team to travel to Mississippi and compete for the title.
Members of the team are Brody Rogerson, Reed Phillips, Luke Scott, Rylan Cook, Jack Palmer, Preston Deal, Colt Williams, Ellis Denham, Andrew Rogers, Luke Akers, and Cullen Hicks. The coaches are Coach Stephen Scott, Coach Brad Akers, and Coach Jim Palmer.