Half of the South Fort Myers 10-11-year-old All-Stars already know what it takes to win a sectional tournament.
They did it last year.
The entire team knows what it takes to win a district.
They did it last week.
And perhaps — in the eyes of manager Bruce McAfee — the best has yet to come.
"They haven't peaked yet. I'm still waiting for them to play their best game. I haven't seen their best yet," said McAfee.
Even so, South takes a 5-0 record into the Section 6 tournament this weekend, having swept through pool play and the championship series on their way to claiming the District 9 crown.
South was scheduled to play its first sectional game last night and will wrap-up with games today at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Chuck Reiter Field in Venice.
While defending their District 9 crown, South demonsrated they can win from behind, rallying from an 8-2 sixth inning deficit to beat Cape Coral National, 9-8, in seven innings.
"They were real excited the way we won that game," said McAfee. "I just hope they keep that intensity up and I think they can learn from that. That was a good stepping stone for them to come back after being down six runs and win it."
In that game, South's bats were fairly quiet until exploding in the sixth inning. With a powerful offense from top to bottom, McAfee is hoping all cylinders will start clicking at the same time. The sectional would be as good a venue as any for that to happen.
"I told them we'll run into a lot different competition in Venice. There's going to be teams up there that are going to be solid all the way through," said McAfee.
Last year South won Section 6 with a 3-0 record before falling short in the state tournament.
With three games in less than 24 hours in Venice, the section tournament is essentially a sprint to the finish.
"Get in and get out," said McAfee. "They know what they have to do."
The state tournament will be held in Zephyrhills.