Tourney time blues

Published 5:21 am Wednesday, July 11, 2007

By By Matthew Nascone
When I found out Atmore was going to host two Cal Ripken state tournaments back in January, I was thrilled. I could not wait to have the teams from around the state come here and witness what Atmore is all about.
But then the worst thing that could happen to me happened. I got sick. And when I say sick, I mean the worst kind of sick that I have ever experienced in my 24 years on this Earth.
I hope anyone I talked to out there at Tom Byrne Park Friday, Saturday or Sunday during the Alabama Cal Ripken 12-year-old 70' State Tournament was not offended because I was not in the best of moods at all. If I said something wrong, I am sorry, but I just didn't feel well.
And this nice bug is sticking with me and I will probably be under the radar as the Atmore 10 year olds host the Alabama Cal Ripken 10-year-old State Tournament July 12-15.
I have no idea how I will feel during this tournament, but I hope I am able to get more pictures of Atmore's finest this time around.
Even though I was sick for the entire tournament, I did see some good games, but most of the games I witnessed were blowouts. I know everyone at that park knew the Tillman's Corner all-stars were going to walk away with the trophy after that opening game annihilation of Matthew's Park, 13-1.
I was a little worried for the teams who had traveled in Thursday because the downpour that happened that day cancelled the day's games and Tom Byrne Park was turned into a river.
The rain seemed like it was going to continue all the way through the weekend and it did ruin some of the action Saturday night, but for the most part it stayed away after drenching the fields on Thursday.
When I traveled to Mobile for the Alabama District Commissioners' Meeting in January with District 7 Commissioner Murray Johnson, I felt like this was going to be the best experience of my short reporting career.
That definitely was not true for the first week and it does not look good for the second week either, with my body still acting against me.
I don't know if I will be out there more or less as the Atmore 10s look to win the state tournament, but I know it will be an interesting tournament to be at no matter what. This tournament will be interesting because there are nine teams in it, compared to the seven in the last tournament.
Another intriguing point of interest is that this age group was the only Atmore team to qualify for a state tournament last year as 9 year olds. I know manager Jodi Dortch and coaches Tim McAnally and Tommy Smith will want to push it even further this year.
This team also has eight of the South Alabama Bandits travel team in its ranks. So that group of athletes has had time to mesh together for more than a year.
All in all, it should be an interesting weekend of fun and I hope to be there covering it all.
Matthew Nascone is sports editor of the Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123.

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