The 12U Wewahitchka Ponytails Dixie Youth softball team was supposed to play their X-Play state championship game on Monday, but amidst heavy thunderstorms, they were forced to wait a few extra nights.
“It was a lot of stress on the parents especially,” said the team’s head coach, Kyle Hall. “They were pacing the halls. They were ready to get it done.”
When it finally came time to finish out the championship game on Wednesday evening, Hall said, the girls were ready to play.
In a 6-3 game against Franklin County, the Wewa Ponytails took home the Dixie Youth state championship.
“The girls showed up, played ball,” Hall said. “They did everything that was asked for, and they truly played (the game) exactly how we wanted them to play it.”
“There was an inning or two where they struggled, but they always bounced back, and they kept their heads in the game, and in the end, they came out on top.”
At the state tournament, the Wewa ponytails won four of the five games they played, losing one game to Franklin County before playing them in the championship game.
Now, the team is preparing to play in the youth league’s World Series, which begins July 29.
“Our first game will be on the 30th,” Hall said. “And we’re going to be practicing pretty much every day of the week – getting them in the cages, and getting their bats warmed up and working on our defense and what to do in certain situations.”
The team celebrated their big win by riding through downtown Wewahitchka atop a fire truck on Thursday evening, a tradition in the town.
Baylee Beauchamp, Emalee Clark, Kylee Easter, Madi Ferrell, Aliah Ferry, Gabby Heckelman, Allyson Johnson, Maycee Johnson, Kayleigh Linton, Kendall Skipper, Paityn Suber and Madi Wood, the team’s 12 players, waved to a cheering crowd as they passed by.
Hall said that the community’s continued support will be needed as the team prepares to travel to Louisiana.
“This is a big deal for them,” he said, “a once in a lifetime opportunity for a lot of them, and we’re going to need every bit of support we can get from all the communities around here to make this trip (to the World Series) happen.”
The team is accepting donations to help fund the trip via Venmo at the username @WewaDixie-Softball and via Cash App at the username $WewaDixieSoftball. Donation jars have also been set up around town.