East Texas Cats win state title, head for national tournament

From Staff Reports

June 22, 2008 - The East Texas Cats, a 12-and-under baseball team composed of youngsters from Sulphur Springs and surrounding communities, has qualified for three national tournaments and will play in the AAYBA national championship next month.

The ET Cats compiled a record of 37-7-4 this season and last weekend won the state championship in the 24-team 2008 Super Series Baseball Tournament, American Division at Bakersfield Park in Flower Mound.

They played in 10 tournaments this year and won eight of them. The Cats qualified for the Super Series Baseball World Series in Collierville, Tenn., and the USSSA Baseball World Series at Lake Charles, La. They decided to play in the AAYBA 64-team Open Division National Championships July 19-27 in Flower Mound.

Besides winning the state championship, the highlight of the season was winning first place in the 24-team Big League Dreams Super Series Tournament in Mansfield the first weekend in June.

Big League Dreams Sports Park is a $24-million baseball complex with scaled-down replicas of famous major league stadiums. The Cats played games in Fenway Park, Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium (where the photo was taken).

"The season so far has been a tremendous experience for these young men," said coach Bryan Burney. "It takes a huge commitment from the players and their families to have the success we have achieved.

"We played four straight weekends leading up to and including the state championships. These guys went 19-1 those weeks and won four first-place trophies. It has been an exciting year so far and one they will remember for a long time."

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