The Gamecocks won 8-2 against the Braves Friday during the Clover Parks and Recreation Department’s Minor League Tournament championship at Clover Community Park.
The Gamecocks scored early and maintained the lead.
“I have some resilient kids, a great group of kids that have been tremendous,” Gamecock head coach Sheldon Brown said. “They work hard and we practice a lot.”
Brown said that coaching Minor League kids goes beyond wins and losses. “I put a lot of pressure on the kids,” he said. “I’m not just preparing them for this experience. The kids need to understand that they can overcome adversity and accomplish anything in life.”
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Brown said he considers molding the lives of today’s youngsters to be serious business. “It’s a tremendous feeling to see the kids excel from day one and be able to go out and perform like they do,” he said.
Clover Braves head coach Brian Simmons lauded the Braves for their commitment to the team.
“We had a great year,” said Simmons. “We played a better team in the championship game.
“I try to tell my boys that defense wins championships. They (Gamecocks) played better defense today.”
Simmons said the Braves players learned a lot during the season.
“We came a long, long way,” said the Braves coach. “We’re very, very young. I lose two kids from this year’s team. I’ve got a lot of 8- and 9-year-olds and look forward to a championship season again next year.”
Simmons said he believes this season has been a learning experience for the kids. “We have a lot of kids with a lot of passion over there,” he said. “We’ll be back.”
Simmons said the Braves have established a solid program. “We won the championship last spring and fall,” he said. “This is new for us, taking a loss, but we’ll be back.”
Both teams were recognized in special ceremonies after the game with trophies.