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Americans prepare for tournament
All-star Graves.jpg
Jacob Graves winds up to deliver a pitch in preparation for an all-star tournament in Cookeville next week.

The Americans are back!

The city’s 9-10 boys all-star team will be competing next week as the Americans in a tournament that begins Tuesday in Cookeville.

Bottoms Heating & Air finished on top in the league tournament which was held last week and the all-star team didn’t waste any time starting to practice. Coaches Caleb Graves and Eric Burch will have to get players in the right position in a hurry as the tournament is less than a week away.

“I feel pretty good about it because we’ll be facing other teams just like us,” said coach Burch. “We’re a true rec ball team and we’ll be playing other rec ball teams. That’s how this tournament is set up so I think we’ll have a chance to be competitive.”

Some of the more experienced travel teams have been playing together since early spring and feature top players from several cities. 

Those aren’t the types of teams which will be competing in this all-star tournament, Burch said. It’s designed for players who participate in rec ball leagues, which typically aren’t as competitive as some of the high-end travel tournaments.

“We don’t have many practices before the tournament so we’re trying to get all the fundamentals in,” Burch said.

On Monday, coach Graves was hitting fly balls to the outfield so players could practice making the catch and following it with a solid relay throw to second base. Coach Burch was working with pitchers on their mechanics and stressing the importance of a well-balanced stride.