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State baseball semis preps: Dixie County believes it can win it all

Bears prepare for their first 1A Final Four appearance
Bears take on Bozeman at 4pm Wed.
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 10:58 PM EDT
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CROSS CITY, Fla. (WCJB) -Three North Central Florida high school baseball teams are making their first appearance in state semifinals this week, and two of them compete Wednesday in Class 1A: Fort White and Dixie County.

The Bears take on top-ranked Bozeman at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Fort Myers, while Fort White and Holmes County follow at 7 p.m.

Cross City is beaming with pride over the Bears’ run, which comes in the 97th year of the school’s history. The Bears are fueled by that energy.

“We’re all just pumped up and ready for it,” said senior pitcher / outfielder Carson St. Laurent. “We’ve just been waiting for this our whole lives. Everybody has been talking about this since we were little, that we’re the team that can do it, so I think we can get it done this year.”

“It feels good knowing everybody is behind us,” said senior pitcher / catcher Kolton Hunt. “Everybody is with us, and we’re going to go down there and try to win it for them.”

Dixie County has a modest record of 13-9 overall but won its two regional playoff games by a combined 16-1 margin.

“We’re very demanding on the boys, but we actually practice scenarios trying to distract them and force them to focus on what’s going on out on the field,” said head coach Shannon Smith. “Because when you get to the big games, there’s all these other things going on in the stadium and you have to learn to tune it out and focus on the task at hand.”

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