Perry 8U All-Stars defies odds, headed to Dixie Youth World Series

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PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Who said underdogs can’t make it to the top?

Not the Perry 8-and-under All-Stars.

The team is headed to their first-ever Dixie Youth World Series in Ruston, Louisiana July 26 thru 30.

But the road wasn’t easy.

They weren’t even considered an “A-Team” due to the original A-Team choosing travel ball over Dixie Youth Baseball.

However, you can’t stop a team with a big heart and a never-say-die attitude.

“I’m all for a challenge. And I can tell these kids are too,” assistant coach Josh Mantei said. “And they come out here each and every day, giving us everything they possibly have. They’re all laying out, with bloody noses, getting black eyes, and everything else.”

That attitude is something that can’t be measured.

Perry won two games and lost one in Round 1 of the state playoffs, beating Swainsboro and Troup County. Its loss came against Jones County Purple.

The All-Stars went 2-2 in Round 2. They eliminated Jones County Purple and Gold but lost to North Macon, who went undefeated.

Head coach Kyle Gordon says the team has embraced the underdog mentality.

“It kind of made them have a chip on their shoulder,” Gordon said. ” They kind of show out. The play with a little more grit and determination. The amount of heart they play with when we go to tournaments and play in games is just unfathomable.”

The Perry 8-and-under team will represent Georgia in the Machine Pitch bracket in the Dixie Youth World Series.


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Montezz Allen joined 41NBC as a sports reporter in 2019. He was born and raised on the West Side of Detroit, Michigan, but spent seven years in Chicago, Illinois. While there, he worked as a Sports Anchor at NCTV17, a Sports/News Reporter at Urban Broadcast Media and an Assistant Producer at WBBM-AM Newsradio — the No. 1-ranked news radio station in Chicago. He also made frequent guest appearances on WCIU's "The Jam" and The D & Davis Sports Radio Show at "670 The Score." He graduated from Oakland University — located in Rochester, Mich. — where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism in 2012 and then earned a Master of Arts from DePaul University in Chicago in 2014. He's the first person out of his immediate family to achieve the feat of earning a college degree — let alone two of them. He's extremely proud of that. Tezz has a strong love for the game of basketball. He played most of his life. It's his passion. He admits that he's a Kobe Bryant fan and believes the "Black Mamba" is the second greatest player of ALL TIME, hands down. In his spare time, Montezz loves to workout, travel, shop for the latest fashion and spend time with his family. Tezz is excited to be in Middle Georgia, and is looking to tell the best sports stories he possibly can. Don't hesitate to hit him up at