The Botetourt Brawlers, a 9U travel baseball team, recently won the 2022 National All-State Championship in Memphis, Tenn. which took place from July 31-August 6. All the players but two represent the different districts in Botetourt County. Eagle Rock, Cloverdale, Troutville, Daleville and Fincastle are all represented. The two boys not from Botetourt represented the Glenvar district.
The team ended up playing in the silver bracket. An even number of teams were split into two brackets. The Brawlers won their bracket playing Team USSSA (United States Specialty Sports Association) to get to the semifinals on August 4, then losing to Team Texas/Oklahoma that Friday and had to beat Team USSSA again, ultimately win in a rematch against Team Texas/Oklahoma to win the championship.
“We played and faced some of the best athletes at that age that I’ve seen in my entire career of coaching,” Brawlers Coach David Mays stated in a recent email. “Team Indiana had the best pitching that we’ve seen by far. They’re a top notch team that we fell to 6-5 in the last inning during one of our pool play games.
“In saying that about the other athletes, our team preformed on levels we, as a coaching staff, had never seen before as well. Their intensity—as well performance—heightened to levels we hadn’t seen out of them. It was extremely exciting to see the players reaching down to their full potential as athletes.”
The team previously competed in tournaments during the fall of 2021 in Christiansburg, Covington, Stuarts Draft and Bristol.
“If I had to take away anything from the entire experience it wouldn’t be winning the championship even though it was sweet,” Mays continued. “[My main takeaway] definitely was seeing the boys step there game up to the next level in their athletic abilities hands down. As a coach, seeing what you’ve taught them executed and watching their instinct take over on the field is by far better than any game won, especially at such young age!”
For more information about the Botetourt Brawlers, visit their Facebook page.