Oak Mountain team headed to state tournament

The Oak Mountain Dizzy Dean 9-and-under All-Star team heads into the state tournament July 2 in Athens after defeating Chelsea in the regional championship game.

Keith Taylor hit a line-drive double in extra innings to push in David Scharf for the game-winning run and lift Oak Mountain over Chelsea 11-10 in the regional championship game.

“We came out of the game confident we can win close games,” Oak Mountain head coach David Moody said.

Oak Mountain’s success is due in part to their dedication to each other on and off the field.

Team mom Angela Scharf encourages the players to build strong relationships through off-the-field activities, such as shaving cream fights, to help build solidarity.

“They are all from different schools and don’t have a chance to get to know each other (off the field),” Scharf said. “This helps solidify the boys.”

But just because they goof around off the field doesn’t mean they are not serious, Scharf said.

“They’re friendly off the field, but on the field they’re ‘ice-water in the veins serious’ about baseball,” she said.

Heading into the July 4th weekend tournament are Jalen Thomas, David Scharf, Camden Christo, Jackson Kimbrell, Cole Thomas, John Ryan Tran-Reno, Connor Griffin, Luke Percer, Matthew Moser, Keith Taylor, Dylan Fraser and Dane Moody.

“Encouragement for one another and a drive to win makes them a special group,” Scharf said. “They’re the 12 best boys in their age group.”