The 12U King Cougars competed at the Summer World Series in Charlotte July 14 through 17.
During the course of the tournament, the team played a total of eight games and managed to win four of the games. In addition, the team came in second place for two of the other two games.
“I am very proud of these girls for playing so hard in the extreme heat,” Jeff Tucker, head coach, said.
This season marks the fifth year for the 12U King Cougars, having been started by David Grimes and Tucker.
Tucker said that the idea for the team was sparked after a little league all-star game against Surry County. He said that the King team didn’t fare very well, which caused parents to insist that the players become more competitive through a traveling team.
In addition to the 12U team, there is also a 14U team that works very closely with the 12U team.
According to Tucker, the team is made up of both new players and players from past years.
Tucker said that the primarily focus of the team is to prepare the players with an in depth knowledge of the fundamentals of the game before they are old enough to play on the school teams.
Both the 12U and 14U teams have 10 players each, Tucker said that by distributing players across the two teams, each team member gets their fair share of playing time during the game.
As for next year’s team, Tucker said that seven members of the still have one year left before moving up onto the 14U team. All of the players are from Stokes County, except for one player who is from Mount Airy.
One of the added bonuses of competing in the tournament in Charlotte was getting to spend the weekend in a hotel and swim at the pool, Tucker said.
Tucker said the success of the team was a community effort citing all of the involvement by community members and parents. In particular, Tucker said that Jerry Wilkins supplied the team with a free practice space.
“They’re a great group of girls, they’re good at executing what they know,” Tucker said.
Tucker said the team ran a rotation of three pitchers and three catchers throughout the tournament.
The girls had great attitudes during this tournament. It was very hot but they all looked out for each other, making sure that each of them was drinking plenty of fluids,” Tucker said. “I don’t think the girls ever thought twice about the competition they were facing, they just played to the best of their ability and it paid off for them. They knew they were playing good ball.”
Other tournaments that the 12U team has won include:
-One Day Supersaver on March 19
-Spring Bling Battle in the Triad on April 2 and 4
-Battle on the Diamond on May 22
Tucker said that the team came close to victory on July 9 and 10, but ultimately feel short.
“They still played some of the best ball I’ve seen,” Tucker said of the July 9 and 10 tournament.
Aila Boyd may be reached at 336-415-2210.