Beaufort News

Beaufort All-Stars ready to take on best in Dixie Boys World Series

The exact numbers are muddled now -- margins of victory and other details lost in previous months -- but Beaufort's Dixie Boys World Series team remembers its meetings with Surfside Beach.

Surfside won the Dixie Junior Boys World Series in 2010 and the Dixie Youth Majors World Series the year before that. According to information provided by Surfside, 10 players on the current squad played last year and eight of the same players won it all the year before.

In the previous two years, this Beaufort team finished second to Surfside at the state level. The margins were large, players said, if not immediately memorable.

Opening ceremonies tonight at Waterfront Park mark the opening of the Dixie Boys World Series, which will be played at Burton Wells Park. And as Beaufort prepares to welcome the best teams from throughout the Southeast, Surfside is marked as the team to beat in the 14-and-under tournament.

Beaufort will open with Halifax County, Va., at 7 p.m. Saturday. A potential Surfside-Beaufort matchup could come in Game 2.

"We can't wait for it, really," Beaufort pitcher and infielder Mattison Pike said.

Beaufort players say they remember Surfside as having deep pitching, making few errors and delivering timely hits. Its infielders played back on the outfield grass, Pike said, robbing hits with strong arms and accurate throws.

But that's not to build up Surfside as unbeatable, Pike said. Beaufort also has its strengths, said pitcher and shortstop Bradley Brown.

"We have a lot of speed," Brown said. "We have some power in the batting order. And we've got some good gloves and good arms."

Beaufort earned an automatic bid as the host team and did not play a district tournament. Instead, the team played in four travel tournaments, with coach Jim Pike trying a variety of lineups and allowing everyone the chance to play. The preparation helped develop chemistry but did not solidify Beaufort's lineup, he said.

Brown, Mattison Pike, Carson Gregory, Shuler Black, Alex Tokar, Louis Brown and Keaton Butler all could be asked to pitch, their coach said. Jim Pike said throwing strikes and playing solid defense would determine how far Beaufort can go.

Pitch counts will limit how far each can go, but Pike said he would not hold anything back in the early games.

"You've got to win one at a time at this point," he said. "If you get to the end, you've just got to Band-aid it together and try to win."

Pike said he has tried to instill in his players the magnitude of the tournament. Competition will be stiff, and the games will be broadcast on local television and online.

"I was trying to preach this (past) weekend, 'Come Saturday, you're playing on TV,' " Pike said. "Just to try to make them understand, 'Start playing hard all the time now.' "

2011 DIXIE BOYS WORLD SERIES

What: Opening ceremonies, followed by a home run derby

Where: Waterfront Park and Burton Wells Park

When: 5 p.m. today; Home run derby is scheduled to start about 8 p.m. at Burton Wells.

Note: Opening ceremony will include dinner, guest speakers and games for players.

2011 DIXIE BOYS BEAUFORT ALL-STARS

Coaches

Name: Jim Pike

Regular-season team: Diablos

Years as coach: 35

Occupation: Real estate appraiser

Children: 14, 17, 34, 35, 36

What other sports do you coach? None

Other hobbies: Golf, tennis, swimming, all sports

Name: Brian Gregory

Regular-season team: Diablos

Years as coach: 10

Occupation: Director of Property Services, Fripp Island Resort

Children: Alex, 17; Carson, 14; Bella, 10

What other sports do you coach? Football

Other hobbies: Music, boating, coaching

Name: Art Smith

Regular-season team: Diablos

Years as coach: 20

Occupation: diesel hybrid, waste company

Children: Macaulay, 18; Luke, 17; Sheldon, 14; Hartley 12; Hannah, 5

What other sports do you coach? None

Other hobbies: Family, camping

Players

Name: Jordan Bates

Regular-season team: UNC Tar Heels

Regular-season coach: Joe Tokar

School: Beaufort High

Position: OF/P

Height: 6-0

Wt.: 140

Parents: Dawn Bates, Sam Bates

Siblings: Parker Bates, 16

What other sports do you play? Soccer, football

Who is your favorite pro athlete? Jason Heyward

What is your favorite food? Chic-fil-A

What is your favorite school subject? Gym or weight lifting

Name: Shuler Black

Regular-season team: Diablos

Regular-season coach: Jim Pike

School: Beaufort High

Position: OF/P

Height: 5-10

Wt.: 127

Parents: David Black, Kristi Black

Siblings: Mills Black, 12

What other sports do you play? Football, basketball

Who is your favorite pro athlete? Tom Brady

What is your favorite food? California Dreaming

What is your favorite school subject? History

Name: Bradley Brown

Regular-season team: Gators

Regular-season coach: Ray Hightower

School: Beaufort High

Position: SS/P/OF

Height: 5-7

Wt.: 135

Parents: Jim Brown, Shannon Brown

Siblings: Louis, 15; Brooks, 10

What other sports do you play? Street ball

Who is your favorite pro athlete? Tom Glavine

What is your favorite food? Hamburgers

What is your favorite school subject? Gym/History

Name: Louis Brown

Regular-season team: Gators

Regular-season coach: Ray Hightower

School: Beaufort High

Position: Any

Height: 5-8

Wt.: 135

Parents: Jim Brown, Shannon Brown

Siblings: Bradley, 15; Brooks, 10

What other sports do you play? None

Who is your favorite pro athlete? Jayson Werth

What is your favorite food? Steak

What is your favorite school subject? History

Name: Keaton Butler

Regular-season team: Gators

Regular-season coach: Ray Hightower

School: Beaufort High

Position: 2B

Height: 5-0

Wt.: 95

Parents: Chris Butler, Maureen Butler

Siblings: Kelsey, 16

What other sports do you play? Tennis, football, basketball

Who is your favorite pro athlete? Dustin Pedroia

What is your favorite food? Steak

What is your favorite school subject? Math

Name: Carson Gregory

Regular-season team: Diablos

Regular-season coach: Jim Pike

School: Beaufort High

Position: OF/P

Height: 6-3

Wt.: 165

Parents: Brian Gregory, Nancy Gregory

Siblings: Alex, 17; Bella, 10

What other sports do you play? None

Who is your favorite pro athlete? Cliff Lee

What is your favorite food? Pizza

What is your favorite school subject? History

Name: John Heys

Regular-season team: Gators

Regular-season coach: Ray Hightower

School: Beaufort High

Position: 3B/SS/UTIL

Height: 5-9

Wt.: 130

Parents: Fred Heys, Andrea Heys

Siblings: two sisters, ages 19 and 21

What other sports do you play? Mixed martial arts

Who is your favorite pro athlete? Brian McCann

What is your favorite food? Burgers

What is your favorite school subject? Lunch

Name: Andrew Jezewski

Regular-season team: Auburn Tigers

Regular-season coach: Andy Womack

School: Beaufort High

Position: C

Height: 5-11

Wt.: 160

Parents: Brian Jezewski, Pam Jezewski

Siblings: Adam, 15; Amanda 20; Alyssa, 9

What other sports do you play? Football, weight lifting

Who is your favorite pro athlete? Brian McCann

What is your favorite food? Tater-tots

What is your favorite school subject? Math

Name: Connor Lundgaard

Regular-season team: Diablos

Regular-season coach: Jim Pike

School: Beaufort High

Position: C/OF

Height: 5-9

Wt.: 165

Parents: Josh Lundgaard, Lori Lundgaard

Siblings: Ethan, 12

What other sports do you play? Football, wrestling

Who is your favorite pro athlete? Jeremy Shockey

What is your favorite food? Baba ghanoush

What is your favorite school subject? Psychology

Name: Clyde Parker

Regular-season team: Tigers

Regular-season coach: Andy Womack

School: Beaufort Middle

Position: 1B

Height: 5-11

Wt.: 155

Parents: Clyde Parker, LeeAnn Parker

Siblings: Ajhia, 12; Maleeah, 7

What other sports do you play? Basketball

Who is your favorite pro athlete? LeBron James

What is your favorite food? Seafood

What is your favorite school subject? Lunch

Name: Mattison Pike

Regular-season team: Diablos

Regular-season coach: Jim Pike

School: Beaufort High

Position: 1B/P/3B

Height: 6-0

Wt.: 190

Parents: Jim Pike, Linda Pike

Siblings: Weber, 17; Nicole, 36; Becki, 35; Shaun, 34

What other sports do you play? Ping-pong

Who is your favorite pro athlete? Albert Pujols

What is your favorite food? Fish

What is your favorite school subject? Math

Name: Sheldon Smith

Regular-season team: Diablos

Regular-season coach: Jim Pike

School: Beaufort Middle

Position: 3B/OF/P

Height: 5-6

Wt.: 140

Parents: Art Smith, Niki Smith

Siblings: Macaulay, 19; Luke, 17; Hartley, 12; Hannah, 5

What other sports do you play? Football

Who is your favorite pro athlete? Michael Vick

What is your favorite food? Fried chicken

What is your favorite school subject? Driving home

Name: Alex Tokar

Regular-season team: Blue team

Regular-season coach: Joe Tokar

School: Beaufort High

Position: 3B/1B/P

Height: 5-7

Wt.: 170

Parents: Joe Tokar, Alana Tokar

Siblings: Kyleigh, 9; Joey, 28; Brittney, 27

What other sports do you play? Football

Who is your favorite pro athlete? Adrian Peterson

What is your favorite food? Steak

What is your favorite school subject? None

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