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Showing off their talent

Ville Platte head coach Lance Chapman gives his team instructions during a game at the Dixie Youth State Tournament this past weekend held in Rayville. Ville Platte went 6-1-1 in the tourney. (Photo courtesy of Julie Lafleur)

VP Pitching Machine, T-Ball All-Stars wrap up successful state tourneys

Sports Editor

RAYVILLE -- Going 6-1-1 in a tournament usually puts a team in the thick of things for shot at a championship.
Unfortunately for the Ville Platte Dixie Youth Pitching Machine All-Stars that one tie pushed them out of Championship Bracket play and into the Consolation Bracket here this past weekend at the Dixie Youth State Tournament.
However, Ville Platte did not wallow in self-pity. Instead the young team moved put on their big boy pants and strode their way to a Consolation Championship trophy.
“Unfortunately we wound up 2-0-1 in pool play and had to play a tie-breaker game to see if we would make it to the championship bracket,” stated head coach Lance Chapman. “We thought that we had made it, but that silly tie-breaker rule came into effect. ”
It just so happens that the game putting Ville Platte in the Consolation Bracket actually began the tournament for the boys in blue. In the initial pool game, Ville Platte and Benton finished knotted at 12-12.
Ville Platte rebounded nicely with an 18-1 trouncing of Patterson and followed that game up with a 14-5 win over Rapides East. With that win, Ville Platte thought they had made it to the Championship Bracket.
But because they were tied for first place in pool play, the decision who would move on to the Championship bracket came down to runs allowed. Because they had allowed more runs, Ville Platte was determined to be the second place team in the bracket.
That meant a meeting with West Monroe to determine which club would be invited to the Championship Bracket. Ville Platte lost a heartbreaker in that game by the score of 8-1.
Nevertheless, the All-Stars recovered quickly and went on a four game run defeating Oakdale 19-9, Union Parish 13-6, Alexandria 14-6 and finally the other West Monroe team 10-4.
After the tournament, Chapman extolled the competitiveness of his team.
“These kids were a joy to coach,” Chapman expounded. “You can tell in the way that they compete and how hard they play. They were relentless the whole tournament and kept bringing it.”
Chapman was also very proud of his coaching staff and the support the team received.
“I want people to know that without my assistants Rob Guillory, Michael Soileau and Jake Veillon this season would not have been possible,” said Chapman. “Also the parents were tremendous in their support, as well as the community. It takes that support to be a successful team.”

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