Adam Markowitz goes through a head count of his Dixie Youth baseball team and sees a number of familiar names on the roster.
Nearly half of his players this season were under his tutelage a year ago when they advanced to the Dixie Youth Baseball AA Region II Series in Hartselle, Ala. The group is hoping for a repeat performance this week, when they descend on Hilton Head Island's Crossings Park alongside seven other teams for the Dixie Youth Baseball Hilton Head Minors Super District Tournament.
"It definitely helps to have gone through that process," Markowitz said, "to see the different types of situations that come about from having that kind of experience, rather than doing it for the first time and having not experienced that. ... But baseball is a funny sport. No two games are ever alike."
Markowitz's Hilton Head Atlantic team will cap Monday's opening-round action with an 8 p.m. matchup against Hilton Head Coastal. Fifteen games in all will be played in the double elimination tournament --which runs Monday through Saturday -- with the winner advancing to the state tournament that begins July 20 in North Charleston.
The state winner will advance to the World Series held Aug. 3 to Aug. 9 in Laurel, Miss.
"I think we've got as good a shot as anybody," Markowitz said. "We'll be prepared. And that's all I can do as a coach, is to prepare my team. It's up to them from there."
Six of the Super District's eight teams, which are made up of 9- and 10-year-olds from District 8 in South Carolina, hail from Beaufort and Jasper counties. A pair of clubs from Bluffton, two from Beaufort and the pair from Hilton Head Island will join single teams from Jasper County, Colleton County and Hampton-Varnville.
Hilton Head, Beaufort and Bluffton each qualified a pair of teams due to Dixie Youth Baseball rules that allow leagues of eight or more teams to have two all-star clubs representing the league.
Admission is $5 per day with an extra $1 charge on Monday that will go toward the Dixie Youth Scholarship Fund. The Hilton Head Baseball Association will offer a full concession stand available for patrons.
Dixie Youth Baseball Hilton Head Minors Super District Tournament
What: An eight-team, double elimination tournament that will send the champion to the state tournament next month.
Where: Crossings Park, Hilton Head Island
When: Monday through Saturday
Admission: $5 throughout the week with an additional $1 charge on Monday to benefit the Dixie Youth Scholarship Fund.
Monday, June 24
Game 1: Hampton vs. Beaufort East, 8 p.m. (Field 1)
Game 2: Beaufort American vs. Walterboro, 6 p.m. (Field 3)
Game 3: Bluffton American vs. Bluffton Nationals, 6 p.m. (Field 1)
Game 4: Hilton Head Atlantic vs. Hilton Head Coastal, 8 p.m. (Field 3)
Tuesday, June 25
Game 5: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 6 p.m. (Field 1)
Game 6: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 6 p.m. (Field 3)
Game 7: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 8 p.m. (Field 1)
Game 8: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 8 p.m. (Field 3)
Wednesday, June 26
Game 9: Game 5 winner vs. Game 8 loser, 6 p.m. (Field 1)
Game 10: Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 loser, 6 p.m. (Field 3)
Game 11: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 8 p.m. (Field 3)
Thursday, June 27
Game 12: Game 11 loser vs. Game 10 winner, 6 p.m. (Field 3)
Game 13: Game 11 winner vs. Game 9 winner, 8 p.m. (Field 3)
Friday, June 28
Game 14: Game 13 winner vs. Game 12 winner, 6 p.m. (Field 3)
Saturday, June 30
Game 15: Game 14 winner vs. bye, 8 p.m. (Field 3)*
*If after Game 13 there are three teams with one loss each, all will draw for the Game 15 bye.