Community recognizes Valley 9 and 10-year-old baseball all-stars
VALLEY — The 2019 Division II AAA Dixie Youth World Series championship tour has officially been completed for the Valley 9 and 10-year-old baseball all-stars.
The team held a parade that spanned the length of the Valley SportsPlex to the community center for a ceremony in the gym.
Valley High School assistant principal Casey Chambley was the event’s emcee for the night.
“We don’t follow our teams because they always win,” Chambley said in the ceremony introduction. “We don’t pay admission because we expect them to win. We buy those tickets to watch you compete. Win, lose or draw, we want to see you fight, scrap and claw. Lay it all on the line when the dust settles, the lights are turned off and everyone has left the park, the teams that are remembered are the ones that fight to the end.”
The champions were welcomed into the gym one-by-one with walk up music for every introduction. The song selection spanned from Nelly and M.C. Hammer to Chance The Rapper and Lil Nas X.
Alabama Dixie Youth Baseball District 10 Director Alberta Boyd then gave a teary-eyed congratulations to the team for winning the world series during her last year in the position before retiring. Boyd also shared her appreciation for having two district teams win the world series, a feat that she believed no other district in the state has accomplished.
Head coach Shane Andrews was then welcomed to the podium with a standing ovation. In his speech, he thanked the community for the support along the way. He said that he pushed the players to their limit many days, but said that it was all worth it winning the title.
Mayor Leonard Riley and members of the Valley city council then congratulated the players with brief messages claiming how proud they have made the city.
“These boys have played some of the best ball that I have ever seen in person,” Riley said. “I had to remind myself that I was watching 9 and 10-year-olds.”
Recreation department representative Laurie Blount, Mark Hudmon and Brody Thomas then went on stage to present plaques and honorary keys to the city to the team.
“You all have received a key, that doesn’t mean that it opens anything,” Blount said. “What it does mean is that you have been honored for everything that you all have done. Everybody in Valley was on the edge of their seats those last two games.”
Alison Yarbrough, the mother of Mason Yarbrough who held a team devotional before every game this summer, then came up to the podium to give her remarks and say a closing prayer.
In her remarks, she reminded the players to remember all of the lessons they learned in the pre-game devotionals and carry that with them for the rest of their lives.
“God hand-picked all 12 of these boys,” Yarbrough said.
Majority of the team recently began the fifth grade this school year.