The Loudon Redskins weren't able to play the final games on the summer baseball schedule, and with the National Amateur Baseball Federation district championships beginning Thursday, it could prove a negative.
"After Wednesday night they're going to seed everybody," Loudon coach Bill Thompson said. "The top three seeds host. I don't think we've got a shot to host. We're close, but not playing — South-Doyle canceling and not getting to play Gibbs — that hurts us with our wins.
"We'll probably be fourth or fifth," he said. "We'll play at Halls, Gibbs, West — probably those three."
Even traveling, Thompson said his team has a chance to compete. The Redskins won the district championship last summer, finishing with 20 wins and home-field advantage in the tournament.
"I'm looking forward to seeing how they do in the tournament," he said. "Both the Halls games we had a chance to win. We have played Gibbs. West, we beat them and they beat us. I haven't seen anybody who is that much better than anybody else. I think we have a good shot at doing well."
Gibbs will present the most interesting challenge to the Redskins because the two teams have not met since last summer. Halls won both games of the season against Loudon and the Redskins split West with two games each, though Loudon also beat the Rebels in a tournament at Loudon.
Thompson said he would rather see teams Loudon has faced this summer in the early stages of the tournament, but said they will have to wait to see how the seeding plays out.
Pitching will be key for the Redskins if they hope to make a run in the tournament. Offensively, the team has shown a very top-heavy lineup this summer.
Isaiah Lowe and Cody Townson have proven to be a strong one-two punch for the Loudon pitching staff this summer and will need to continue to do so.
Senior Mick Nichols, who has been the team's best bat this summer, will be a vital part of giving that duo run support. Lowe and Townson's bats will be important as well.
Once concern Thompson has is that the time off for the dead period, coupled with the team not playing early this week, will leave the Redskins rusty heading into the tournament.
"They're going to practice Wednesday night," he said. "That will help a little bit, but I think the teams that were able to play Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday have the advantage.
"But I've had some teams before that missed a whole week for something and came back and played real well," Thompson said. "I'm hoping our pitching holds up. What would hurt the worst is probably our hitting."
The tournament is broken into three pools of four teams with the winner of each pool earning a spot in the NABF World Series. Thompson said the chance to play in the World Series gives an added motivation to the team.