Pelham 11u All-Stars take Metro tournament
By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Editor
PELHAM— There’s an old saying that states “those who play together, stay together.”
The Pelham 11u All-Stars tend to believe something similar. For this particular squad, the adage has become “the team that stays together, wins together.”
Pelham 11u took home the Birmingham Metro All-Star Championship June 25, defeating the Trussville All-Star bunch in the final to take the win in the two-weekend tournament.
The team features a group of players the head coach Lance Jones said know each other quite well. The team formed in a younger division and have played their way up through the ranks.
“We’ve been together for years,” he said. “(Since they) were 5-6 years old.”
Even this season, nothing appeared to be a guaranteed win. Jones said the squad worked hard, stuck together and simply willed their way to wins at times. To get to the final round, the team headed into the tournament with the No. 1 seed. Pelham 11u proceeded to reel off wins over Alabaster, Homewood and Oak Mountain before heading into the final with Trussville undefeated. After the opposition took the opener, Pelham closed the championship with the 8-4 win.
“It was (a season of) a lot of close games,” he said. “They never gave up. They fought hard the whole way.”
Jones also said he was glad the group was finally able to take the championship, as there is a strong possibility that the team might not play as a complete unit after this season.
“We had to-to-three older kids,” he said. “The are going (to play) middle school ball. This may be the last year we’re all together.”
While the team qualified for another round of the playoffs, Jones said the team opted to call it a year, as summer schedules amongst the team were too hard to coordinate for another tournament run.
With the season — and possibly the team — finished, Jones said he was more than proud of the effort his squad put forth, and of the players themselves.
“We’ve got a good group,” he said. “I sure enjoyed coaching them.”