Carroll County Legends hoping for a trip to Mississippi
After a loss in the district championship game at Mountain Home, the Carroll County Legends considered calling it a season. They decided to continue though, as the Legends played in the state tournament in Batesville last weekend. After reeling off five consecutive victories, the Legends won the state tournament and earned a spot in Southeast Regional tournament in Hattiesburg, Miss. Coach Chad Hipps and the Legends are raising money in an effort to go to the tournament, which starts next week.
"The problem is that we are under such a time restraint that we aren't able to get out and do a lot of fundraisers as far as work goes," Hipps said. "We have been going around, asking for donations. And we will be out front of Walmart on Saturday asking for donations."
Hipps said the Legendsí title is the first youth baseball state championship won by a Carroll County team. Therefore, Hipps said this would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for his team.
"I have got to umpire some Southeast Regional tournaments," Hipps said. "They are always incredible. Just for the experience to come in and play. Travel out of state, especially south Mississippi. Get to stay in a hotel, be with your friends. Play the best teams from the Southeast Regional to see how we compare is always a big deal. I'm hoping for the best. I want them to go down and just have a ball."
In order to qualify for the regional tournament, the Legends had to win the state tournament. They will be joined by teams from Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Hipps knows the competition will be much more difficult than what they have been facing over the last couple of months.
"These will be top-notch teams," Hipps said. "As well as we played at state, I feel confident that we are ready for it. As long as we don't back off and we play as well as we did at Batesville last weekend, we are ready."
The Legends are less than a week away from their trip to Mississippi, but Hipps knows it's important to keep his team engaged between now and then.
"We are going to try and squeeze in as many practices as we can between now and then," Hipps said. "I'm kind of scared. I don't want to burn the boys out, but at the same time I don't want them sitting around on the couch eating Cheetos for the next week until we go down to Mississippi."
While the Legends hope to go to Hattiesburg and win, Hipps hopes his team is able to enjoy the experience.
"Winning state is already more than we ever dreamed of," Hipps said. "An opportunity to go to Hattiesburg, obviously everybody wants to win, but at the same time I want the kids to go down and soak up every minute of this experience. I know they are going to have a banquet for us the first night we get there. They are going to have a parade of champions the first day of game play. It's going to be a big deal. I want them to enjoy every minute of the experience."
Along with being at Walmart Saturday morning, the Legends have an account set up at Anstaff Bank under the name "Legends." Hipps adds that any money the community can give will be greatly appreciated.