Luverne All Star Baseball Team Prevails at World Series

Published 8:00 am Thursday, July 27, 2023

The 7U Luverne All Star Baseball team triumphed at the 2023 Dixie Youth Regional World Series in Center, Texas, earning the runners-up title in the tournament July 20-23. Around 800 players and coaches nationwide competed for their division titles and the 7U coach pitch division encompassed 13 teams from Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. 

Assistant Coach Wesley Osborne spoke proudly of the team’s accomplishment, and of the community’s efforts in helping the boys fulfill this dream. AMP Nutrition of Luverne donated profits from their operations, as did Los Hermanos Mexican Restaurant, in contribution to the cause.

“It’s been a great experience!” said Osborne. “I don’t know anyone that’s been to the World Series, so it was an honor to go and represent our small town. I just want to thank the community and the county for helping us, because we couldn’t have done it without them. I don’t care how good the kids were, there’s no way we would have gotten there without the community coming together and raising that much money.”

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The team competed in seven games culminating in five wins and two losses, defeating Shelby County, Texas, 8-0, Wayne County, Mississippi, 11-5, Paris County, Texas, 5-3, and Municipal Park, Alabama, 9-1. In the semi-finals, Luverne won over Shelby County, Texas, 9-0, but lost to Ville Platte City, Louisiana, 2-7. The All Stars faced Shreveport Americans, Louisiana in the finals, earning runners-up and ceding the championship in a loss 0-7. 

Defeating the Municipal Park team from Mobile was a big victory for the all star team, explained Osborne.

“We played them three times in the state tournament,” Osborne said. “They beat us twice and we were runners-up against them. But we ended up shutting them out in the World Series. It was crazy.”

The young players each received a medallion, two World Series rings, and a 2023 World Series baseball bat. 

And according to Levi Nichols, Nash Nichols’ father, the boys are going home with much more.

“It’s important that our kids know there are people who believe in and love them, and that even though they are from a small town they can do big things with hard work,” Nichols said. “They learned to never give up or get down when things were tough. They were gritty and fought hard all the way through the final game. We appreciate the countless hours the coaches poured into our kids all summer as they prepared to play in the World Series. I can’t think of four better men to lead our children, and these kids will remember this experience for the rest of their lives.”

Osborne said the team could not have had such a successful experience without the aid of his wife, Sarah Osborne, Coach David Ammon’s wife, Melissa Isaak, and team mom Brandy Odom, who helped plan meals, wash clothes, and keep everything in order so the coaches and players could just show up and play ball. He also highly commends assistant coaches Reed Kilcrease, a former member of the 2009 Brantley State Championship baseball team, and Blake Hermeling, who played for the 2010 Luverne State Championship baseball team. Osborne only had great things to say about Ammons. 

“Coach David is a good friend, and he’s just awesome,” Osborne said. “He works hard day in and day out. When we’re all sleeping, he’s still working on getting all the plans together.”

Ammons said a travel ball team, possibly named the Crenshaw Crushers, is what’s next for the World Series runners-up. Organizers plan to compete in the fall and spring tournaments when recreational ball starts, and make their way back to the World Series for the championship title. 

“This whole team has just been awesome since the beginning,” Ammons said. “The players are very coachable, the parents are supportive, the coaches were top notch and the community has been awesome. It’s just been good chemistry with everyone throughout this journey, and we couldn’t have asked for anything better. I believe the players will never forget this.”