In 2016, Gruetli-Laager Dixie Youth baseball league formed an All-Star team coached by Natalie Reeves, Jason Rymer, Adam Roberts, and Destin Nunley. The team competed at the 2016 All-Star Tournament in Waynesboro, Tennessee. Following this success, the coaches realized the talent level of their hometown boys, and after selecting a few more players, formed a select team.
Team Xtreme began its first season in 2017, with Jason Rymer as head coach.
“After seeing what these kids accomplished in All-Stars, the dedication of the parents, and the genuine love the kids had for the game, I knew we could compete at this level. Team Xtreme uses Coalmont field as their home field. Coalmont mayor, Preston Miller, has always supported us. He has helped with the field and assisted with fundraisers and, most importantly, made us feel welcome,” stated Rymer.
In 2017, Xtreme won two first place titles and multiple second place trophies. During that year, they traveled to Chattanooga, Murfreesboro, Pigeon Forge, and Atlanta.
This 2018 season provided Xtreme new challenges. Just a few weeks into the season, two of the players were injured – one with a broken arm and one with a broken thumb, causing them to be out the majority of the season.
Coach Rymer said, “Losing them was definitely a blow to the team but it also allowed several kids to step up. They made the best of the situation, which is a testament to the type of kids we have.”
Xtreme has played most of their games in Middle Tennessee and the North Alabama areas, snatching several second place titles.
“It has always been important to me to keep this group of kids together, but playing travel ball is a huge undertaking. Some people aren’t willing to put in the time but the parents and kids we have are very dedicated” explained Rymer.
“Most of Xtreme is from the mountain, but we have added a couple valley boys along the way. This year, for the first time, Team Xtreme is holding tryouts.
“It is important for us to do tryouts because it is becoming more competitive, especially with kid-pitch next year. We need kids on the team who want to be there and want to get better,” Rymer said.
During the off season most of the boys play football for the North Grundy Hornets, but this year Rymer says between football practices and any spare time, baseball will have to continue.
“I like for the kids to play other sports – its good for strength and agility and keeps them in shape, but due to the changes from 8U coach-pitch to 9U kid-pitch it is going to be important that we also continue with baseball in the off season.
“Most to all of these teams we play are from places like Knoxville and Birmingham and have over 100 kids tryout. Our kids are just hometown boys and we hang right in with them. That shows the talent we have,” Rymer concluded.
Anyone interested in tryouts for Team Xtreme can come to Coalmont ball field on July 21.