A large majority of the names are the same. In 2017, Riegelwood won the NCDYB AA state championship and went on to a third place finish in the World Series. An 11–0 win over South Columbus Thursday evening earned Riegelwood the 2021 NCDYB D2 Majors state championship. Nine of the 11 players and all three coaches were members of the 2017 championship winning squad. Riegelwood dominated its opposition, outscoring opponents 73–5 during its six-game undefeated run through the tournament. All five runs allowed came in a 9–5 semi-final win over Burgaw.
Adrion Jenrette, Brayon Waddell, Gauge Simmons, Eli Jacobs, Zay Hines, Mack Freeman, Landyn Jacobs, Devon Jenrette and Khari Bowens were members of the 2017 AA (Coach-Pitch) championship winning squad. Greg Jacobs, Josh Simmons and Tyrell Waddell coached both groups. Ethan Stanley and Xavier King are the members of the 2021 team who were not on the 2017 squad.
All is not lost for the runner-up South Columbus team. North Carolina receives two spots in the 2021 DYB D2 Majors World Series. However, finishing second in the state tournament did not guarantee South Columbus receiving the second berth. Tournament rules state that if two teams are to advance to the next tournament the “head-to-head” result is used to decide which team advances IF THEY HAVE THE SAME RECORD AT THE END OF THE TOURNAMENT. South Columbus and Burgaw each finished the tournament with a record of 3-2. They did not meet in the tournament. That means a World Series “play in” game is scheduled for today at 6:30 p.m. in Elizabethtown between South Columbus and Burgaw. The winner earns a trip to the DYB D2 Majors World Series in Laurel, Mississippi.