Aloha Ball: Yantis' Davis playing in Hawaii Classic

By JOSEPH ELERSON, News-Telegram Sports Writer

April 27, 2008 - YANTIS - After a four-year baseball career at Yantis High School, senior Jordan Davis is headed to Hawaii.

Not for college baseball but as a member of one of the Texas teams playing in the 2008 King Kamehameha Baseball Classic in Maui June 17-24.

"We got this thing in the mail with information about the Classic," Davis said. "I looked into it with my dad on the internet, and my dad called the people. We then went to a meeting in Corsicana and they showed us a schedule of how we are flying out and what we would be doing."

The Classic, sponsored by Elite Sports International, will have 10-to-15 teams of 12 members from Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota, Indiana, Oregon, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Colorado, Tennessee and Georgia. Texas will have four teams in the two-day event.

ESI is a Christian-owned and operated sports organization whose sole purpose is to offer high school athletes and coaches the opportunity to travel to some of the world's most exciting destinations while at the same time competing in the game they love.

Davis' Southeast Region team will be coached by Navarro College head coach Whoa Dill, whose team is currently No. 7 in the RINGOR/NJCAA Div. I Baseball Poll with a 41-7 record.

"I have not had a chance to talk to the coach because we have to wait until the state baseball tournament is over with," he said. "We will then have a practice, and we are going to Corsicana for a weekend of practices once that is done."

Davis will play a minimum of four games on June 21-22 during the Classic with a pool play format. After that, each team will compete in a single elimination or "Medal Round" to determine the tournament champion. The finals are set to begin at 4 p.m. June 22 at the Central Oahu Regional Park, with an awards ceremony to follow the finals.

Prior to the weekend action, the players are allowed to enjoy the scenes of Hawaii with sightseeing tours, a Polynesian show and dinner, authentic Hawaiian entertainment and a fireworks show during the first four days of their trip.

On June 18, the team will take part in the Hawaiian Olympics, which is an event where the group will compete in various Polynesian games. The games include events like Hawaiian Fear Factor, Huli Huli, and the player-coach hula dancing contest.

"The first few days we get to travel around Hawaii and I have never been then before," he said. "We will be playing with some great players and their will be a lot of college coaches at this event. We will be able to get our name out there, and I want to go to the next level and play college baseball."

He said the cost of the trip was taken care of by his grandparents which made him not have to worry about the fund raising cost.

"My grandparents took care of the cost of the trip because they want me to be able to play college baseball," the senior said. "They think if they can do it then it will help on the cost of college. It was like a family fund raiser for me and they all pitched in for the cost of the trip."

With a maximum of 12 players on the teams, Davis said it gives the players more playing time during their trip.

"They did not want to go into this tournament with 15 players on a team and people go all the way over there and not get to play much," Davis said. "It is really cool that I am getting to go over there and really show them what I can do."

He said he is hoping his greatest memory of the Classic will be a free vacation in Hawaii and also having the chance to get a scholarship in the fall.

"I am hoping to get a baseball scholarship out of this trip," he said. "Other than that, I am hoping to meet a lot of cool people and having a fun time playing 'America's Greatest Past Time' and I get a free vacation out of it."

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