There will be 10 states represented at the Dixie Softball World Series from the 5- and 6-year-old SweeTees to the 7- and 8-year-old Darlings. Tournament play begins Saturday at the Old Creektown Complex, with a banquet for the teams and their families set for Friday night at Lakepoint Resort State Park.
The SweeTees division has just six teams – state champions Brooks (Killen) of Alabama, Cochran/Bleckley County of Georgia, West Monroe of Louisiana, Pontotoc of Mississippi, Wayne County of Tennessee, and Amherst County of Virginia.
There are 11 teams in the Darlings division, including host Eufaula joining Alabama state champion Montgomery. Also in that division will be Paxton, Florida; another team from Cochran/Bleckley County in Georgia; Sabine, Louisiana; Ellisville, Mississippi; Locust, North Carolina; Lancaster, South Carolina; Henderson/Chester County of Tennessee; Mount Vernon, Texas; and Appomattox, Virginia.
Brooks is actually Killen, Alabama in the very northeast corner of the state in Lauderdale County. The 2010 Census had 1,108 people. Donna Godchaux from there. She is a former member of the Grateful Dead. Killen is 301 miles from Eufaula, 11 miles northeast of Florence.
Cochran, Georgia in Bleckley County is home to Middle Georgia State University. It is 127 miles from Eufaula and 39 miles from Macon. The 2010 Census said there were 5,036 people in Cochran. Its earliest settlers there worked in the turpentine industry. Convicted mass killer Ronald Gray was from there, but so was Ed Roberts, who created the Altair 8800 computer in 1974 that is credited with starting the computer revolution. Austin Cook was also from there and he won the regional title in the 2016 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest.
West Monroe, Louisiana is 452 miles from Eufaula and about 98 miles due east of Shreveport. Its 2010 Census said there 13,065 people there, among them all of the Robertson clan – of Duck Dynasty fame. Bill Russell, five-time NBA MVP and 12-time all-star, is from there, as is Royce Cook, the world’s fastest pizza delivery man.
Pontotoc, Mississippi is 329 miles from Eufaula and 108 from Memphis. Late outlaws Frank and Jesse James once hid there. Ruby Elzy a former opera singer who was a Broadway star, was from there.
Wayne County in Tennessee is 329 miles from Eufaula and 40 miles north of Florence just across the state line. It’s the second-largest county by area in Tennessee, but its 2010 Census was only 17,021. It got its name from General “Mad Anthony” Wayne of the Revolutionary War.
Amherst County in Virginia is 618 miles from Eufaula and 107 miles due west of Richmond – 395 from New York City. The rural county had a 2010 Census of 32,353.
Montgomery is just 85 miles from Eufaula. It is the only team at either World Series in Eufaula from a state capital of its state. It’s also home to the Montgomery Biscuits, one of the best names in all of Minor League baseball. Its 2010 Census of 374,536 makes it the largest town represented at the Eufaula World Series.
Paxton, Florida is 112 miles from Eufaula and all of 2.5 miles from Florala on the other side of the state line. Its 2010 Census had a mere 644 people listed there. In fact, its total square miles include only 3.9 square miles of land. It is the smallest town at the Eufaula World Series.
Cochran, Georgia in Bleckley County is the only team from the same town at the Eufaula World Series. (See notes above under SweeTees.)
Sabine Parish of Louisiana is 579 miles from Eufaula and 191 miles west of Baton Rouge near the Texas state line. Its 2010 Census was 24,233. Legendary western lawman John Horton Slaughter was from there.
Ellisville, Mississippi is 305 miles from Eufaula and 22 miles north of Hattiesburg. its 2010 Census recorded 3,465. Legendary LSU football star Billy Cannon was from there, as was Lance Bass, a member of the pop band ‘N Sync.
Locust, North Carolina is 433 miles from Eufaula and 26 miles east of Charlotte. Its 2010 Census had 2,930 people. It was settled by German, Scotch Irish and English immigrants.
Lancaster, South Carolina is 420 miles from Eufaula and 46 miles south of Charlotte. Its 2010 Census recorded 9,134 people. Former U.S. President Andrew Jackson was from there, although Waxhaw, North Carolina claims the same superlative.
Henderson/Chester County of Tennessee is 392 miles from Eufaula and 88 miles from both Tupelo and Memphis. Its 2010 Census recorded 6,309 people. Legendary singer Eddie Arnold was from there.
Mount Vernon, Texas is 662 miles from Eufaula, meaning that team is making the farthest trip to the World Series here this week. It is 102 miles east of Dallas and had a 2010 Census of 2,662. Dallas Cowboys and Monday Night Football legend Don Meredith was from there.
Appomattox, Virginia is 610 miles from Eufaula and 93 miles from Richmond. Its 2010 Census had only 1,733 residents. It got its name from the Appomattoc Indian tribe.