The AA All Stars, for boys age 7-8, went to state in Bristol the first week of July, and lost a series of tough ballgames to finish out of the money.
Coached by Tyler Poloronis, with assistants Ronnie Joseph, Justin Mathes and Jimmy Adair, the team includes Karcen Poloronis, Kobe Joseph, JT Mathes, Ethan Shiver, Blanton Adair, Jasiah Fleming, Braylin Morris, Brody Johnson, Bentley Gay, Brian Lee Taylor, Presley Hicks and Gabriel Kelly.
The boys won their opener 6-5 against East Lakeland, after they smacked a two-out hit in the sixth inning for a walk-off win.
In the second game, they fell in a 7-6 heartbreaker to Shalimar, but then came back and beat Graceville 8-5.
While nine teams began the tourney, four teams entered the tourney’s final phase and Franklin County was among them, because they had two wins.
“They sent home five teams, and the other four teams played it out,” said Tyler Poloronis.
In the first game against Holmes County, the young Seahawks were up the entire game, but the opponents scored a pair of runs in the sixth inning to go up 3-2, and go on to win.
“It was a heartbreaking loss,” said the coach. “I coach a lot of ball and that was one of the toughest losses I’ve had.”
After Poloronis got into a verbal altercation with the opposing coach, both men were suspended for the finale, and so assistant coach Ronnie Joseph stepped up. But the boys, disappointed at the Holmes County loss, fell 10-5 to Blountstown, a team they had downed twice in the District 4 tourney to advance to state.
Tyler Poloronis is optimistic that his young team, which had only two returners this year – Karcen Poloronis and Kobe Joseph - and third older player, JT Mathes, all of whom served as captains, will be back strong next year.
“I have seven guys coming back next year, seven returning players,” he said. “If they stay together and practice all season they should be favorites to win. If this same team stays together.
“We did way better than our expectations,” he said. “This team had a lot of fight to them.”