I recently attended the Little League State Tournament in Bartlett, TN, just outside of Memphis with the 9-10 year old girls All-Stars from the Marshall County Little League and would like to comment on the athletes, the coaches, the traveling parents and relatives, and all the citizens of Marshall County who donated their money to support the journey.
First of all, let me say the girls represented Marshall County with great pride and sportsmanship throughout the tournament and the entire county should be proud of the way they conducted themselves.
The girls lost their first ballgame versus the defending champion Unicoi County, came back the next evening with a fire in their bellies and walloped Portland 26-3 to advance, only to lose a heartbreaker 12-11 to a Northwest team that acted with the same class displayed by our girls.
These girls not only became a tight-knit team, they became friends during the trip, and their relationships will certainly last a long, long time. They prayed together, ate together, slept together - sometimes three in a bed - and they won and lost together. This was a twelve girl squad with each of them contributing their individual talents to the team cause.
The coaches, Mike "Gumby" Wortham and Casey Davis had only three weeks to prepare the girls to come together as a cohesive unit and they should be commended for the hard work and caring attitude they displayed the entire time.
The traveling parents and relatives came in big numbers and supported the girls every game, and were experts in keeping their children motivated and ready to play.
None of this would have been possible without the help of the citizens of Marshall County who donated their hard-earned money at the car wash, the WAXO auction, and with donations received throughout the collection period.
As a sports writer and a father of one of the girls on the All-Stars team, I cherish those memories of the week, and on behalf of the team would like to thank everyone involved with their undying efforts to make the trip possible.