The Little Leaguers coached by T.J. Messick have continued their winning ways – and advanced to the Tournament of State Champions for the Southeast for the second year.
As 9- and 10-year-olds they won the tournament - the highest possible achievement for their age level – to cap an undefeated 2011 season.
Fast forward to this year, and the now 10- and 11-year-olds, who just won the state championship, are headed to the Southeast tournament again. The team is 29-0 since the beginning of the 2011 season, said Messick, who continued to coach the team as it moved up in its age bracket.
With the exception of one player, the team's lineup remains the same as in 2011, Messick said. Messick said he's elated at the back-to-back trips to the Southeast tournament, a feat he said is unprecedented in Plant City Little League.
The tournament opens this weekend in Greenville, N.C., where Plant City plays the South Carolina state champion on Saturday, Tennessee on Sunday and Virginia on Monday. The semifinals are Tuesday and the championship game is Aug. 1.
The Southeast tournament includes state Little League champions from West Virginia to Florida.