Three Northern Little League all-star teams and one Pioneer team remain alive.
The Pioneer junior softball team begins play today in the Southeast Regional in Fort Myers, Fla.
The Northern senior softball team also begins play today in the Southeast Regional in Fort Myers, Fla. The Northern 10-11 baseball squad has another week off before it returns to play on July 31 in the Tournament of State Champions in Greenville, N.C.
Meanwhile, the Northern major baseball team hopes to join those three teams as state champions. They begin play in the state tournament today in Athens.
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The Northern 9-10 softball team also won a state championship and was scheduled to play in a Tournament of State Champions beginning today in Clarksville, Tenn. But with several team members unavailable, the team had to withdraw, according to manager Alex Martinez.
The Northern major baseball team has a tough test right away as it faces Warner Robins in the opener at 11 a.m. Northern and Warner Robins have dominated major baseball in the state for the past decade. Of the past nine state champions, Northern has won four and a team from Warner Robins has won five.
"To win it, you have to beat all the great teams," Northern manager Randy Morris said. "It doesn't really matter who you play first."
The double-elimination tournament runs through July 31. Little League previously used a pool-play format for its tournament. Morris likes the change to double-elimination.
"You may end up with all the best teams in one pool, so you might not have gotten the true best team," he said.
Team members include Joey Bialoncik, Chandler Blanton, Devan Cail, Frank Davis, Sean Desrosier, Cason Emerson, Zach Joyner, Connor King, Walt McConnell, Conner O'Neal, Caden Shirah, Carter Sidor and Conner Sizemore. The coaches are Donnie Coulter and Shawn Cail.
The state champion will advance to the Southeast Regional in Warner Robins next month.
Phenix City American beat Phenix City National 11-2 to win the Alabama state title in major baseball earlier this week.
The Pioneer junior softball team won a state championship without playing a game. The team was hosting the state tournament at home earlier this month when the other teams dropped out, leaving only Pioneer.
The team has plenty of past success as the major softball team last year. Pioneer's major softball team advanced to the Little League World Series, finishing third.
Seven players from that team are on this team. They are Aiyanna Taylor, Sammie Cotton. Lindsey Sanders, Kamdyn Fuller, Raelee Weaver, Jada Chadwick and Kennedi Bedell.
The rest of the roster includes Berkley Hall, Moana Lee, Tierra Brooks, Haley Singletary, Harleigh Mize and Alyssa Barker.
The manager for this team is Bo Weaver. The coaches are Lisa Sanders and Herman Drayton.
The Northern senior softball team breezed to its state title with three easy wins, 23-5 over Macon, 19-3 over West Point and 15-4 over West Point.
"I like the quick turnaround," manager Jarrod Yarbrough said.
"We are playing in stride basically.
"It doesn't leave any room to overthink, overlook or underestimate the teams in this tournament.
"It can get exhausting and repetitive to practice every day when you get to this point."
Yarbrough said speed has been a big factor in his team's success.
"I think our biggest strength is our speed and our ability to run the bases," he said. "I've never had this much speed on any team I've ever coached."
The Northern all-stars are Alex Boeding, Emily Davis, Laura Beth Dowe, Maggie Drew, Olivia Hinton, Haley Johnson, Bailee Liston, Zoe Paul, Alexis Sibold, Deja Smith, Renee Trapp, Lexi Slouchick and Hannah Williamson. The coaches are Bob Hinton and Gary Duncan.
The Northern 10-11 baseball team won its state championship on Jan. 17 in Toccoa with a 8-1 victory over Oconee County.
Northern went undefeated in the tournament, also beating Vine Ingle 17-5, Oconee County 3-1 and Cartersville 14-0.
The Northern all-stars are Ashton Shackleford, Connor Trepanier, Avery Robinson, Trey Sanders, Charlie Forbes, Jackson Hilton, Buddy Denson, Josh Davis, Sean Lawson, Tucker Kite, Justin Veloz, Cameron Dodson, Tripp Duncan and Dell Davis.
The manager is Jason Hilton and the coaches are Tim Davis and Doug Duncan.
Kevin Price, 706-320-4493. Follow Kevin on Twitter @lesports