After making a clean sweep in the District 1 tournament a couple of weeks ago, the Destin All-Stars 8-10 year old baseball team is gearing up for the Section 1 Tournament this weekend.
Destin will take on District 20 champions, Chaires-Capitola, in a best two out of three in the Florida Section 1 8-10 year-old Baseball Tournament scheduled for 3 and 6 p.m. Saturday in DeFuniak Springs, with a possible tie-breaker game on Sunday at 2 p.m.
In preparation, the Destin All-Stars were putting in some practice hours at Dalton Threadgill Little League Park earlier this week to get ready for Saturday’s games.
“It’s really the same preparation that we put into every game,” said Destin Coach Justin Ray. “We work a lot of individual drills. You want see us run a lot of set up practice with guys on base.
“It’s situational," he added. "It’s drill specific, and if we execute those drills in a game then we’re going to have our way with it.”
During practice on Monday, before the July 4th holiday, the Destin All-Stars worked on such things as fielding grounders, catching fly balls, and a run-down drill.
Both Destin and Chaires-Capitola were undefeated in their individual District Tournament.
Destin put Paxton away 18-2, then Shalimar 13-7 and finished up with two victories over DeFuniak Springs, 14-0 and 23-10.
Chaires-Capitola outscored their opponents, 16-5, 19-0 and 9-2.
“I think if we play our game and execute the things we’ve worked on, that we can hang with any team out there in this age group,” Ray said. “These kids have proven it over the last week or so. We played some good competition in the district tournament and faced some good pitchers.
“I think we can hit fast balls and I think we can play defense. We’ve just got to decide to put it all together,” he added.
When asked what Ray thought was the teams strength, he first said their bats or even their pitching.
But on second thought he said, “It’s not hitting or pitching or any of the skills within the game. The one thing that will carry this team to greatness is their ability to play together.”
If Destin wins the Section 1 Tournament this weekend they will represent on the state level the following weekend in Bradenton.