DIXIE LEAGUE – With just 3 weeks and 6 games to go in the Dixie League the pennant race is really starting to take shape. In the Eastern League, the Westfield Bombers have moved into first place after last week’s double-header sweep. With an 11-4-1 record, the Bombers have a game and a half lead over the nearest competition, the Florida Jesters, they also have a pair of head-to-head victories over Florida, having beaten them 11-9 in Week 3 and 9-8 in Week 5. The Jesters are 9-7-0 and have a
relatively soft schedule to finish out the regular season. Both at 7-8-1, Sanford and Flat Rock are 4 games back from first place, so each would need a serious rally as well as a little help to overtake Westfield, but they are each just a game and a half back from the Jesters and each will play Florida (Flat Rock will play them twice) before season’s end, so they both have it in their ability to make this race interesting. In the basement at 6-9-1, the Carolina Rebels will be eliminated from contestation with their next loss or tie.
The Western League has never produced a Dixie League Champion in the league’s winding history. In 2010, the Mobile Admirals won the league after having played in the West in the ’09 season, but in 2010 they had been realigned into the East. Could this be the year for the Western League? The Andalusia Arrows are an impressive 10-6-0 to lead the West, but to finish out the season, they must play the Jesters, the Bombers, and the team that’s just a half game back from them, the 2015 League Runner-up New Orleans Black Hats. New Orleans actually has a slightly better win percentage than Andalusia, with a record of 9-4-3, but their three ties leaves them a win short of pulling ahead. A 2016 Pro Bowl team, they lead the league in steals (takeaways) with 7 (tied with Flat Rock) and have been playing mistake free ball, committing just one error (giveaways) on the season. League veteran Little Rock Radio Flyers are full into the Western League pennant race also, just 1 game back from New Orleans and 1 and a half games back from Andalusia at 7-6-3. The Flyers currently lead the league in homeruns (touchdowns) with 35 and have perhaps the softest finishing schedule of the Western teams. Birmingham and Houston have now been mathematically eliminated from Western League Pennant contention.
Of note, is the high percentage of AF Registered Coaches in the race for the post season. Florida, Flat Rock, Andalusia, New Orleans, and Little Rock are all coached by AF Registered Coaches, and each are looking to add a championship pennant to their list of accolades. Week 11 marks the end of the regular season in the Dixie, and the top two teams in each league will enter a best of 3 series for the League Pennant and the chance to compete in the 2016 Dixie League Championship Series in Weeks 14, 15, and 16.