PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL (WJHG/WECP) The South Walton Hawks, a team in the 9-U class, is one of 117 teams in all taking part in session two of the Grand Slam World Series this week, with games at Bay, Bozeman and Frank Brown Park.
The Hawks getting in the first of their pool play games Tuesday afternoon. They beat the team out of Chattanooga, Exposure Black, by a score of 10-2.
Certainly these youngsters and their coaches thrilled to be part of this event, and not having to travel as far as they normally do to take part in a tournament like this!
"It's very productive." says South Walton coach Devon Igou
"First of all, great insight for Panama City building fields like this. Giving kids the opportunity to play in an arena and atmosphere with other nine year olds. And it really gives them a chance to better themselves, and three or four games a day."
The coach adds with the quality of baseball you get in these kinds of events, well that's an incentive to take part.
"Usually your kids get a lot better playing (in events like this). It kind of facilitates them a lot of ball in one week. In this case we play double elimination, teams from Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky. They come down here and enjoy the sun and the beach, the baseball, America's favorite past time."
And even though they are certainly keeping score, and the players are competitive at this age, and want to win, well participating in this World Series, says the coach, is more than all that.
"They really enjoy it. They meet other players, see other players. See different levels of talent. You'll see it with the big event, they have pin trading. Or just meeting after the game, or even during the game. It gives them a chance to see other venues, from different areas. So they enjoy it."
The South Walton team did well enough in pool play that they are into the championship bracket tomorrow against a team out of Buford, Georgia.