Picayune Punishers finish as champions in 6u district tournament

Published 7:00 am Friday, June 24, 2016

The Picayune Punishers dominate their way to the top of the 6u district tournament and now head to the state tourney this weekend at Friendship Park.

The Picayune Punishers pose after the make their way to the top of the 6u district tournament. They now head to the state tourney this weekend at Friendship Park.

PYAA tee-ball all-star team, the Picayune Punishers, won the 2016 6u District Tournament last weekend, advancing them to the state tournament.

Head Coach Joel Lee said he’s excited the kids have an opportunity to play in the state tournament this weekend.

“This tournament will give the recognition these kids deserve. It’s a pretty prestigious tournament and I couldn’t be happier for the kids,” said Lee.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

In the district tournament, Lee said the team started out strong, showing tenacity and talent throughout the journey. The Punishers beat Long Beach in the first round 23-10 and then dominated the second round against Gulfport 24-4, according to a press release from Lee. The Punishers then faced one of their archrivals Orange Grove in the finals.

Since the district tournament was double-elimination, going into the finals, Orange Grove had to beat the Punishers twice in order to claim first place. In the final championship game, after losing once to Orange Grove, Picayune came back with a valiant effort, defeating their rivals 20-11, claiming the district tournament championship.

“We did really well against Orange Grove and gained lots of confidence. The kids love the game, and that’s what makes them so special,” said Lee. “They play with lots of intensity and are very smart kids. They make plays that other teams do not make, which is the reason they’re where they are now.”

Lee said the team was ecstatic to win the district tournament and receive their trophies.

The title of MVP was awarded to Picayune Punisher Breckin Albritton for an overall great performance. Jonah Dillard got an outstanding offensive honor for helping the Punishers become champions and Kendall Blevins received the defensive award for his outstanding catching throughout the tournament, said Lee.

The state tournament starts today at 10:00 a.m. at Friendship Park in Picayune with the brackets being drawn Thursday night to see the match-ups for the tournament, said Lee.

The top four teams of the state tournament advance to the regional tournament, which will be held in Arkansas.

“I think we all will be disappointed if we don’t at least compete to win the tournament. We have the talent and grit to go far but our goal is definitely to keep winning and hopefully become champions again,” said Lee. “We want to make regionals just like everyone else but the most important thing is to make sure the kids have fun. If they can do that then everything will fall into place.”