A crowd of spectators braved the threat of bad weather Thursday evening to celebrate the victory of the 2012 Dixie Angels World Series softball champions.
The Rockingham 10U Dixie All-Stars, along with coaches and parents, were recognized just before the band kicked off August’s Plaza Jam at Cole Plaza in Rockingham.
Since the World Series opener in Georgetown, S.C., on Monday, the girls remained undefeated.
On Wednesday, a 6-1 victory against Jones County National, Ga., brought the championship home for the girls in a game that Head Coach Michael Way said was the “most peaceful” in the series.
“We had such a large crowd from town that it felt like we were in Rockingham,” Way said of the atmosphere in Georgetown on Wednesday night.
The head coach said he couldn’t say enough about the hard work that the girls had put into the season.
“We practiced almost every night for six weeks,” Way said. “It really was a huge commitment.”
The team is a part of the City of Rockingham’s Parks and Recreation Department, and is comprised of six 10-year-olds and six 9-year-olds — the youngest team in the championship, according to Way.
Before introducing the band during Thursday’s Plaza Jam, Rockingham Mayor Gene McLaurin recognized the team, coaches and parents for their “outstanding” commitment.
“This group of young ladies represented the community very well,” McLaurin said. “They’ve showed so much good sportsmanship, great teamwork and support to one another. These coaches did an outstanding job. I can’t say enough about how proud I am. They are national champions.”
Performers for the night, The Magnificents Band, dedicated their first song, “Carolina Girls,” to the team.
Vernon Ford, Summer Baseball and Softball Commissioner, who traveled with the girls during this season, said he believed the girls were the first North Carolina team to win in the 10 and under age category.
“These girls have no fear,” Ford said. “They never stop playing, whether they’re ahead or behind. Nothing seems to phase them … They’ve cheered, pulled together, showed good sportsmanship … and they’ve got a great group of coaches.”
Members of the team are Savanna Barber, Emily Faw, Meredith Gerald, Jenna Greene, Jadyn Johnson, Madison Jordan, Carley Lambeth, Reagan Liles, Layne Maultsby, Jayana Nicholson, Paige Ransom and Greyson Way.
The team’s coaches are head coach Mike Way, Jamie Lambeth, John Maultsby and Mike Ransom.
The team will also be recognized at this month’s Rockingham City Council meeting on Aug. 14.
Staff Writer Mallory Brown can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 16, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.