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All-Stars getting ready

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Putnam Recreation to host Dixie Youth on June 14-15 and 17-19

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    Teams from the Putnam County Recreation Dixie Youth All-Stars practice for state tournament play that will begin in mid-June. CONTRIBUTED

What can be more normal about a summer than following the youngsters and cheering them on in a quest to bring a little winning excitement to town?

With June now beginning, so is practice towards the annual tournaments in youth baseball and softball. The Putnam County Recreation Department, now hosting Dixie Youth for the sixth year, has its teams together, and it won’t be long before bracket play begins, some of which will take place in Eatonton.

Recreation Director Scott Haley said Putnam County is hosting the District 3 Dixie Youth Baseball 9-10 tournament June 17-19. Seven teams will represent six nearby communities vying for spots in the Dixie Youth state tournament to be held in Cochran in July. Dixie

Youth also has the added bonus of a World Series being staged in Laurel, Mississippi, in August.

But first, one – possibly more – squads must get through District play. For Putnam County, the 9-10 Putnam girls softball will host on June 14-15 and take on Greene County at 6 p.m. The winner will face Morgan County at 7:30. The 9-10 boys first game means getting by Jones County-Purple, and that game takes place June 17 at 8 p.m. Also on that date are Jones County-Gold vs. Morgan County and Washington County vs. Baldwin County.

If Putnam is successful in the first game, it moves on to face Greene County June 18. The tournament is a double-elimination format with the aim of crowning a winner the afternoon of June 19.

The 8-and-under coach pitch tournament for baseball is hosted by Morgan County Parks & Recreation June 10-12. The same seven teams are involved, and Putnam’s first game is with Jones-Purple, the winner facing Washington County.

Haley said, at the moment, there isn’t a District tournament for the 11-12 Ozone baseball team that will advance straight to the state tournament July 9-11 in Morgan County. He added that as of now, Putnam does not have a team for Dixie Youth’s 13-14 or 19-under divisions.

In girls softball, Putnam County plays Georgia Recreation and Parks Association competitions and is slated to host district in 9-10 softball June 14-15 (bracket TBA). Teams in other age divisions do not have a district tournament scheduled, but Putnam does have a group for 7-8 coach pitch, 10-12 and 13-14.

Haley said these summer tournaments give opportunities for 80 to 100 players, Dixie Youth limiting 12 per roster while the GRPA allows 15.

Putnam County has been a part of Dixie Youth for five years now, according to Haley, and the number of neighboring communities participating makes for a potentially fun event in District. Most GRPA tournaments are divided into classes depending on size, but not Dixie Youth, so Putnam could be facing in state teams from bigger areas like Augusta and LaGrange.