What does it take to become a champion?
For a special group of eight year olds it takes guidance from a former champion, parental support, and the love of baseball.
Corey Holmes has been training the players on the Team Impact little league baseball team since they were three years old. Holmes is the Greenville Park Commissioner, the former Mayor of Metcalfe and also had a Hall of Fame football career in Canada.
He has prepared them for big moments like they had last weekend at The Grand Slam Warm-Up Tournament. The Greenville All-Stars (Team Impact) traveled to Starkville,Ms to compete in a statewide baseball tournament this previous weekend. The Greenville All-Stars completed the tournament 5-0. The All-Stars first game was against the Tupelo All-Stars, and Greenville came out on top 14-2. With game 1 in the bag, the Greenville All-Stars continued to defeat everyone. They defeated the Mahiston All-Stars and Louisville All-Stars to win the entire tournament.
A major component for the organization’s success is parental support. Each father on the team is considered to also be a coach. Usually if a parent decides to also coach their child’s sports team other parents may think things like,”parent-coaches tend to favor their own kids.”
But, Commissioner Holmes says he allows his son to be an eight year old. Holmes explained how fragile being a parent coach is. Parent coaches have to be able to switch roles before and after the game while providing enough encouragement and support for each player on the team.
Car rides home for Holmes and Corey Holmes Jr. are spent not talking about whether the game was won or a lost.
“We have to allow kids to be kids,” Holmes said. “Teaching them if that you make a mistake, you can still move on from it and do better the next time.” “Being a parent coach I definitely have to play both sides. Most importantly you become a proud parent everyday just from watching your son or daughter progress each day.”
At least 75 percent of little league baseball teams are coached by a parent. Melvin Griffin, Marcus Suber, and Ronald Mix take the challenge head helping Corey Holmes coach.
Imagine having eleven eight year olds staring you in your face and you staring right back at them. How are you going to keep their attention? Well that’s not a problem for University Impact. Aiden Suber, Ronald Mix Jr, Ashton Dean, and Corey Holmes Jr. take the initiative upon themselves to call practice sometimes. Holmes joked about how if practice wasn’t held within 2 or 3 days one of those four would begin to call him.
Installing that type of work ethic in kids is the main reason Holmes returned home to help others have a head start on life and experiences.
“At that age I wasn’t put in situations like that,” Holmes said. “It gives our youth the opportunity to compete against some of the best baseball towns in the state.”
Players of the Greenville All Stars enjoy playing baseball. Each player stated that their favorite part of the game is hitting home runs.
The Greenville All Stars will be receiving a high ranking position in the tournament which is the Rec League All-Star State Tournament on July 5th-7th. To find out more about the All-Stars please stop by Buster Brown.