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Holmes County able to play in World Series because of community support




Dixon credits the support of his community for being able to bring Holmes County High School, of Bonifay, Fla., to the Golden Triangle for the second year in a row to play in the Dizzy Dean High School World Series. 


"They take care of us down there," said Dixon, who has been the baseball coach at Holmes County High School for 19 years. "Our people in our town go way above and beyond what they probably should to make sure we can operate our program the way we need to." 


Holmes County is one of only two out-of-state teams competing in the World Series and Dixon credits the people of his community for making it possible. 


"They make the money," Dixon said. "They do fundraisers year round. We never have to worry about expenses. 


"They have a lot of fundraisers They made some money just last week on a fishfry. They''re doing something all of the time." 


The World Series got under way this morning and Holmes County was scheduled to play two games at Caledonia''s Tommy Smith Field today, playing Pickens Academy, of Carrollton, Ala., at noon and Caledonia at 7 p.m. 


Holmes County is scheduled to play two more games Saturday, playing Center Hill at noon at Caledonia and Ridgeland at 4 p.m. at Columbus High School. 


Davis said it''s his intention to take Holmes County to the World Series every year that he''s the coach. 


He likes how the World Series is made up of high school teams, 


"We like to keep our high school team together," Dixon said. "When I talked to (National director of Dizzy Dean Baseball) Mr. (Richard) Ellis about this tournament, I told him I liked the format and how you have to be enrolled at the school. It just gives us another month to keep our guys together and we get to come and compete in a tournament where there''s an elimination format and a championship at the end if you can get that far." 


Dixon also appreciates how his team is treated when it plays in the World Series. 


"These people here in Columbus, Mississippi, are very nice and vey hospitable," Dixon said. "They do a good job of running this thing. It''s well organized. (Former New Hope High School coach) Stacy (Hester) does a good job. He was my main contact to get things going. He seems like a really good baseball guy." 


Last year, Holmes County won Pool D at Oak Hill Academy, in West Point, and made it to the final eight before being eliminated by Kosciusko. 


"We lost six guys (from last year) that could really play," Dixon said. "We finished OK last year, but we do not have the arms that we brought here last year. Stacy and those guys do such a good job that we decided to come back and try it again." 


Holmes County, a Class 2A school with an enrollment of 449 students, was 22-7 and advanced to the regional tournament semifinals this past high school season. 


"We get in the playoffs a lot," Dixon said. "We made a pretty deep run this year. We ran into a private school out of Pensacola (Fla.) that knocked us out of the playoffs. In Florida they don''t separate public schools and private schools. They let them all compete in the same league. That''s kind of tough. It makes it tough on a public school our size to compete." 


One of Holmes County''s top prospects is centerfielder and pitcher Jeremy McGowan, who already has NCAA Division 1 scholarship offers from schools in Alabama that Dixon didn''t disclose. 


McGowan was 8-1 with two no-hitters and he hit .420 this past high school season. 




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