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State champions
State champs.jpg
Members of McMinnville’s 5-6-year old state championship team are, front row, from left, Chandler Thaxton, Lake Minton, Bentley LeFevers, Jett Rains and Wyatt Tanner. Second row, Rawley Gilispie, Lawson Denning, Bryce Grissom, Aiden VanVuuren and Tripp Medley. Third row, coaches Josh Gilispie, Sam Medley, Zack Minton, Jim Bob LeFevers and Justin Tanner.

Ten little Pioneers can already call themselves state champs.

A 5-6-year-old coach pitch team from McMinnville traveled to Murfreesboro over the weekend and emerged victorious during a three-day TYBA tournament.

The Pioneers went an undefeated 5-0 and put an exclamation point on their tournament showing with a 23-15 win over Cannon County in the championship game.

“We definitely have some talent in McMinnville,” said coach Justin Tanner. “The coaches and parents are so proud of how much this team improved in a short time.”

Tanner said the team played its first tournament game together June 1 and was run-ruled by DeKalb County. The Pioneers showed continued improvement and beat DeKalb County at a tournament in Shelbyville on June 28. The Pioneers then beat DeKalb County again in the state semifinals in Murfreesboro, 17-14.

The Pioneers had a similar track record against Cannon County. Tanner said the Pioneers only beat Cannon County in one of their four meetings leading up the state tournament.

But once the state tournament began, the Pioneers beat Cannon County 14-9 on Friday in pool play before the big win in the championship.

“This team really pulled together,” said Tanner. “To win a tournament like this takes production from everyone and this took everyone playing well from the top to bottom of the lineup.”