When the 50th Dixie Youth World Series got under way Tuesday, very little thought was given to Auburn’s Dixie Majors as a title contender. In fact, most felt the team receiving the automatic berth would make an exit from tournament play just two games in.
So much for what people think.
The team that many overlooked pulled of a stunning tournament display and scrapped its way to a co-runner up finish, finally being eliminated by Tennessee in the championship bracket.
At the conclusion of Auburn’s game with Tennessee, there were no tears - no hanging heads. Instead, there were smiles and laughter and heads held high in triumph. There were players running and sliding through the rain-drenched outfield in an almost celebratory fashion.
They were happy, and it showed on every face of a player wearing the Auburn orange and blue.
“Oh, I’m happy,” Auburn’s Neeley Boston exclaimed. “No one thought we would be here. No one gave us a chance. But we didn’t go two-and-out and I’m happy for the way we played in the whole tournament.”
Auburn coach Steve Boston said his team’s joyful attitude in defeat was not a result of game-time talk, but rather the kids handling the situation their own way.
“We told them before the game to enjoy this and not be miserable if it was the last game,” Boston said. “But we didn’t have to say anything. They were still playing and having fun.”
“It was a great tournament and I’m just happy I was able to be on the All-Stars,” Jacquez Crawford said. “A lot of people doubted we could make it this far. I’m disappointed in the way it ended, but overall I’m happy. It’s been fun.”
“I’m not a bit disappointed,” coach Boston said. “These kids have grown up physically, mentally and spiritually in this tournament, and it’s been fabulous.
“This was the best summer of all of our lives.”