Submitted photo The Mayhem Bad Boys earned their 7-foot trophy after winning the 9-under Grand Slam World Series. Making up the Bad Boys are, front from left, Joseph Hyers, Evan Hodges, Kyle Shivers and Grayson Godbee. Standing in the middle are, from left, Joshua Johnson, Bryce Burgess, Gavin Black, Fisher Mitchell, Dawson Coe, Tyler File, and Slade Holloway. In the back are James Hyers, Donnie Coe, and Jason Holloway.
COVINGTON -- The Mayhem Bad Boys came and conquered, winning the 9-under Major/Open division Grand Slam World Series in Panama City Beach, Fla., in their first year.
The Bad Boys were undefeated, winning all four games. They snuck past the Elite Gamers out of McDonough in their first game with a 9-8 win. After advancing following an 11-6 win over the Grayson Rams, the Mayhem got to the finals with a 12-7 win over the Lynn Haven (Fla.) Dolphins.
The Bad Boys took a commanding lead to start the championship game against the Louisiana Tigers, scoring seven runs in the first inning. The Tigers came back scoring a run in the second before adding five more in the third. The Mayhem closed the game strong scoring three more runs taking the fight out of the Tigers to win the championship without losing a game.
"You don't want to get put in the losers bracket," Mayhem head coach Donnie Coe said. "If you lose, you have a lot of fighting to do to get out of the losers bracket. There were some very good strong teams at the tournament."
The teams playing in the tournament came from Georgia, Florida and Louisiana.
Before becoming the Bad Boys, they played under the banner of the Newton County Recreation Department as the Newton County Angels.
Most of the players were part of the Angels 6- through 9-year-old teams with a few of the players from the surrounding area.
"We picked up three kids that were playing in the Rockdale organization. We're all out of the Conyers/Covington area and we have a couple of players in the Social Circle area," Coe said. "This is our first year playing full travel ball. The kids improve more when they play against tougher competition or kids of like talent. Basically, instead of having two weeks of All-Stars we have the whole season of All-Stars since every kid can play. It's pretty good since the kids developed quite a bit this year."
The Mayhem started it's season in February, playing in eight tournaments through June. They qualified to play in the World Series with the tournament win in Watkinsville. They also had two second-place finishes.
"Newton County never hosted a tournament. Otherwise we would've played closer. We played in East Cobb quite a bit and all throughout the state," Coe said.
When asked about pressure on the coaches to win another championship after winning one in their first season, Coe said, "Fortunately for us there's no pressure, we're not the ones playing. I've had my day of playing so now it's up to the kids to play."
While winning the championship was a good way to end the season, that was not what was important to Coe and the other coaches. Their main and only concern was to make sure the players continued to learn and enjoy the game while increasing their skill level.
Even though the coaches spent countless hours practicing with the players while the kids played the game, the coaches know they did not do it alone.
"It was a good season and the parental support was great. It was a long season and it takes a lot of commitment to do it," Coe said. "Without them and the kids great attitude we couldn't have got it done."
Now that the season is over, Coe and the coaches are already looking forward to next year as they get ready to hold tryouts in July.
"They are a lot of kids interested in trying out. There's a team out of Conyers that some of the players have contacted us and there are a lot of other players from teams we've played that live in this area that are eager to play," Coe said. "We'll schedule a private workout or do a team tryout. A lot of kids might be playing or on vacation so we'll do an individual workout and evaluate the kids."
For more information on tryouts or private workouts, email Coe at email@example.com or Jason Holloway at firstname.lastname@example.org.