Good advice from a pro

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NFL player speaks at Dixie Majors dinner

By Eric Rowell

The 2013 Dixie Majors State Baseball Tournament is underway in Lancaster this week.
Eight teams from across the state are playing in the double elimination tournament that began Saturday, July 13, at Doomsday Corner.
The winner of the tournament, which wraps up today, July 17, will advance to the Dixie Majors World Series in North Charleston later this month.  
This is the second year in a row that Lancaster has been the host city.
Lynn James, state director of Dixie Majors Baseball, is pleased that the tournament is back in Lancaster.  
“They all wanted to come back here to Lancaster,” James said. “Last year’s tournament was a big success and the teams wanting to come back, proves that. The teams have at least 18 players (each) and their families that are here filling up hotel rooms, buying gas and eating out while they stay. It’s just a big win for Lancaster.
“This is going to be an exciting tournament. The competition is at its highest level,” James said. “The season started with 68 teams, the best eight in the state are here and they are ready to play.”
The eight teams include two from Lancaster. Buford is the District 3 champion and Lancaster represents the host city. The field also includes teams from Orangeburg, Irmo, Chapin, York, Greer and Hilton Head.
The teams were welcomed to town Friday, July 12, at the tournament banquet at the Lancaster Golf Club’s Fairway Room. The players were treated to a hamburger and hot dog supper, along with a visit from football player Sheldon Brown.
Brown, a former University of South Carolina Gamecocks and NFL player, had some encouraging words for the assembled players. He encouraged the players to seek out positive influences.  
“Always encourage your teammates and push them to be the best,” Brown said. “Surround yourself with positive people and have a vision for success.
“Success comes from a tough road traveled, but you have to make up your mind and take that road, to be successful,” he said.
Brown was part of the infamous 1-21 USC football campaign, and he mentioned that tough road.
“We had the NCAA record for most consecutive losses,” he said with a chuckle. “But did we give up? No. Coach (Lou) Holtz wouldn’t let us. “Just remember, that road that is tough to travel is worth the journey,” Brown told the young players.  
Three games were held Saturday, and four were played Sunday. On Monday, the field dropped to six teams after two teams – Buford and Lancaster – were eliminated in Sunday’s round. The tournament will end today, July 17, with the championship game slated for 5 p.m.
See Friday’s paper for tourney results.