A sixth-grade team from Acton Middle School was recently named champion of the annual Middle School Madness baseball tournament — surpassing the 19-team field at Big League Dreams in Mansfield on Sunday, Nov. 12.
The only team from the Granbury Independent School District, the AMS sixth graders came out on top during the title game against Joshua ISD’s Nichols Middle School when the team scored four runs in the final inning to win in walk-off fashion.
The Middle School Madness tournament was formed as a unique weekend for middle school baseball players to play for their local school.
Coach Jaime Handy explained that while sports like football, volleyball and basketball are normally offered in Texas middle schools, having a formal baseball team is not customary.
"The tournament field is aligned by grade level, and you must attend the school you are playing for,” Handy explained in an email to the HCN. “This allows players who may play for different teams, and at different skill levels, to play together and represent their school and community.”
Overall, the boys enjoyed an unbeaten 5-0-1 record for the weekend, defeating: Hughes Middle School (Burleson ISD), Kerr Middle School (Burleson ISD), Smith Middle School (Cleburne ISD), Dieterich Middle School (Midlothian ISD) and Nichols Middle School (Joshua ISD). The team played two pool play games on Saturday before enduring four games on Sunday.
Handy said Granbury ISD had no involvement with the program, explaining that two volunteer coaches formed the team from prior relationships and held one tryout.
“All 12 players on the roster are current sixth-grade students at Acton Middle School,” he explained. “Each player received a jersey and hat for the tournament, created by the coaches. They also earned a ring for winning the championship.”
The team roster from AMS’s team for this year’s Middle School Madness is listed below:
#2 Jace Madrigal
#3 Cam Snyder
#7 Brooks Thompson
#9 Hudson Handy
#10 Brooks Burcie
#11 Crue Wisdom
#16 Eli Sanchez
#19 Aubrey Heimer
#22 Cooper Gill
#25 Bowen Bleeker
#44 McCoy Fabrizio
#99 Branton Pugh
Coaches: Jaime Handy and Derek Gill