Meridian Star

Sports

July 9, 2014

Alderman selected to USA National Team

DECATUR — After a weekend in Los Angeles, Kemp Alderman will not be returning to Decatur today — and that’s a good thing.

Instead, the 11-year-old Newton County Academy baseball player is flying out to Mexico at 6:30 this morning to compete in the Pan American baseball championships for the USA U12 National Team.

While Alderman was unavailable for comment Tuesday, his mother, Shae Alderman, said she was excited her son one of just 10 to make the team after tryouts this past weekend in Los Angeles.

“He went and was never nervous the whole weekend,” Shae said. “He never gets nervous when he plays ball, he just goes out there and does his thing.”

But Shae said her son got nervous when it was time for players to be selected.

“He sent me a text that said, ‘I’m so nervous,’” Shae recalled. “I texted him back and told him, ‘Don’t be. If you make it, fine. If you don’t, fine. We’ll go home and keep playing baseball.’ He texted me again and said, ‘I’m close. I want to make the team.’”

And when his name was called, Shae said it was a great feeling for everyone.

“It was a very emotional time for everyone,” she said. “A lot of hard work went into it.”

But Shae said the boys who did make it kept their emotions in check.

“We were asking the boys if they were excited, and they said yes, but they also knew the others going home had to feel terrible about it,” Shae said. “All the boys were very considerate to the ones who didn’t make it.”

Alderman puts a lot of extra work into playing baseball, Shae said, so making the national squad is a great reward for his dedication.

“It’s exciting to see that it’s all paid off,” she said. “(Making the team) has been his goal every since he went to North Carolina (to try out last year). He had to work to make this team.”

Shae said the games are supposed to start July 11, and they will return home July 21. In the meantime, Alderman’s father, Kelly Alderman, will have to begin adjusting to a new way of life thanks to his son’s achievement.

“He told his daddy if he made the team, he’d have to quit dipping,” Shae said. “When they worked out together, Kemp would bring it up a lot. Dad says he’s going to go through with it. As soon as he gets to Mexico, that will be it.”

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