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Henderson All-Stars in World Series action

By Jack Stallard
Aug. 3, 2012 at 10 p.m.

Jared Henderson watched his team grow up and grow together this summer, and the result is another World Series trip for a Henderson Boys Baseball Association all-star team.

The Henderson 13s earned a berth in the Dixie Junior Boys World Series with a 15-3 win over Tyler County in Marshall two weeks ago. The local all-stars are the fifth HBBA all-star team since 2003 and the third in the last five years to advance to World Series play.

Henderson will open the event today in Christianburg, Va. by facing Alabama in a 4 p.m. contest.

"These boys have been playing together in Dixie baseball for the past three or four years," coach Henderson said. "We've gotten real close, but we haven't been able to win the big game."

The difference this year, according to Henderson, can't be seen in simple statistics on the field.

"This is the first year I've seen these boys come together as a team," the coach said. "In years past, immaturity or the fact the kids thought they were better than they were hurt us. We don't have that this year. We have 10 good baseball players that play well together."

Another key is pitching depth.

"We don't have one or two good pitchers, we have five good pitchers and that makes it a lot easier as a coach," Henderson said.

The Henderson all-stars had a bye in district play, and then outscored opponents in the state tournament by a combined 38-4. That success, Henderson said, is a product of talent and unselfish play.

"If one kid is struggling at the plate, the next one picks him up," he said. "It makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck when you see the growth of these boys, the maturity level and the way they play the game. I'm proud of them. We have every intention of going to Virginia and winning, but if we lose I'll still be proud of the kids. They've earned this."

NOTES: Making up the Henderson 13s team are Zach Collins, Brennon Henderson, Jackson Jones, Andrew Dunbar, Conner Hairgrove, Nick Parker, Austin Lee, Keaton Hand, Jon McNew and Grey Briggs. Coaches are Jared Henderson, Ricky Parker and Rodney McNew.

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