Oxford 11U team is state champions

Published 2:39 pm Thursday, June 27, 2019

By Jeremy Weldon

The Yalobusha Giants 2026 11U team won the West TN/Mississippi  United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) state championship in the majors division Sunday at FNC Park in Oxford.

The Giants organization, based in Oxford, entered two major level teams in the tournament. Both teams advanced to the semi-finals, and the Giants 2026 team won the championship with a 7-1 win over Dulin’s Dodgers Prime.

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During the weekend tournament, the team also beat the Memphis Tigers Green,  the Tupelo Rangers, and the other Giants team from the organization.

Jack Morris and Brady Fronabarger each homered and Drew Klinck and Leland Weldon each hurled complete games. Cole Prosek and Owen Roebuck provided timely hits and strong mound performances during the tournament.

The Giants 2026 train at Oxford Sportsplex on Hwy. 7 and are managed by Russ Pratt. The state championship was the third the team has won since they began playing together four years ago.

Players for the 2026 team are from Oxford, Batesville, Southaven, Grenada, New Albany, and Jackson, Tenn. The team has posted a remarkable 61-7-2 record this season and has earned a spot in the USSSA Elite 32 World Series scheduled for July 14-21 in Viera, Fla.

This season the team has played tournaments in Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, as well as several in Southaven and Oxford. Of the seven losses during the season, just two came against “In-Class” teams – the other five were in 12U tournaments.

“This group of players is one of the best we’ve had come through the organization,” said Pratt, who founded the Yalobusha Giants about 10 years ago. “We try to get them about 80 games a season and we want them to play the best competition we can find. That means we have to travel around the Southeast most of the spring and summer to play the teams that will push them.”

“With all the games and practice every week it takes a lot of dedication from the players and the parents and the organization is really proud of how this 11 year old group has performed,” Pratt said. “All of the players have a tremendous amount of upside and the parents have been phenomenal working with our travel schedule.”

The Elite 32 World Series in Florida attracts the “who’s who of travel ball” each July and the Giants 2026 has competed with teams from California, Arizona, Texas, and many from the Eastern U.S. in past years.

A group of older Giants players won the Elite 32 World Series in 2014 and repeated in 2015 when the tournament was held at the ESPN facilities of Disneyworld in Orlando. USSSA opened the new Space Coast Sports Complex in Viera last year.

“We believe this Giants 2026 team (2026 is the year the players will be high school seniors) has a real chance to win the Elite World Series,” Pratt said. “They are a tough group of kids that have obviously played very well against top teams this season. Two in class losses is amazing for a team that has played seventy games.”

Cutline:   The 11U Giants 2026 team wrapped up regular season play Sunday at FNC Park with a 7-1 win against Dulin’s Dodgers Prime for the USSSA state championship. Team members are (front, from left) Caden Nelson, Owen Roebuck , Quincy Pratt, Cole Prosek, Jack Morris, (back) Brady Fronabarger, John Grey Morrisson, Drew Klinck, and Leland Weldon. Not pictured is Carter Drumheller. (Contributed)