Clean sweep for Hartselle Dixie teams
Three Hartselle Dixie All-Star baseball teams won district titles last week for a clean sweep in every division that the city fields a team.
Hartselle teams wrapped up state tournament berths in five divisions, while softball teams did the same in four different divisions.
That’s a feat that few communities can brag about and it has a strong bearing on the success that Hartselle has enjoyed in high school baseball and softball.
The tradition for success in Hartselle starts young as players reach for lofty championship goals early.
“These teams competing for state titles year after year is what continues to feed and build the high school program,” said Hartselle 14 head coach Jeff Howard. “These players begin learning to play at these levels at a young age and expect to be there.”
Hartselle qualified five baseball teams – the 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13 and 14 teams.
Two of the teams opened in state play last weekend, while three teams will play this week in Troy and Scottsboro.
Hartselle High School has won seven state championships and has made 10 appearances in the state finals since 1988. Most of the players on those championship teams have come through the Dixie ranks.
The softball program at Hartselle High School has been a consistent state tournament participant for the last two decades. Those players were also products of the Dixie system in Hartselle.
Four softball teams will be in south Alabama this week to compete for state titles. All four tournaments will open Saturday in Enterprise and Midland, beginning July 17.
The 7-8 Darlings, 9-10 Angels and 11-12 Ponytails went undefeated in district play while the 13-15 Belles had to overcome a loss in order to advance to the state tournaments.
The Darlings, Angels and Ponytails will play in Enterprise and the Belles will compete in Midland.
Hartselle’s Darlings have won state championship titles for three years in a row and won a world series title in 2007.
Now the nine Hartselle teams will seek to add to the championship tradition.
Sports editor Todd Thompson can be reached at 773-6566 or at firstname.lastname@example.org