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(Many Paths)
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Chickasaw Stickball Players Represent Tribe At 'World Series'
by Sheyenne Sweet - Chickasaw Times

Chikasha Toli', Bak Bak compete in Mississippi

Chikasha Toli, during the stickball World Series, Choctaw, Mississippi, July 2-11.

Choctaw, MS - Fourteen members of Chickasaw stickball teams competed in the 2015 World Series of Stickball in Choctaw, Mississippi, July 2 - 11. The tournament was part of the 66th Annual Mississippi Choctaw Fair.

Chikasha Toli' members Ric Greenwood, Jeremy Wallace, Gerald Hart, Levi Hart, Ace Greenwood and Chance Factor played with Bok Chito in the 35-and-older division, winning the World Series championship. Durell Cooper, who played in the 18-and-older division, made it to the second round.

Each of the individuals who participated in the tournament regularly plays on the Chikasha Toli' and Chikasha Bak Bak but represented the Chickasaw Nation as members of different teams for the tournament.

Tanner and Shelby Factor from Chikasha Toli' and Chikasha Bak Bak, respectively, placed second in the youth division.

Other Chikasha Toli' members playing in the World Series were Kimberly Williams, Ashley Factor, Adrian John, Brandon White Eagle and Mike Allen.

Mr. Cooper, playing in his fourth tournament, relished the opportunity to play in the World Series.

"Playing in Mississippi is like no other experience of field sports I have ever had," he said. "Nothing compares to the atmosphere, intensity and skill level like the World Series of Stickball. I am already getting ready for next year!"

The Mississippi Choctaw first played stickball at their annual fair in 1949 and the tradition continues. The first tournament included only a handful of players and has grown into the more modern World Series of Stickball tournament with anywhere from 12 to 14 teams vying for the title.

Ric Greenwood said he tried to use the knowledge gained in the tournament and apply it when he returned home.

"As a coach, being able to soak up all the knowledge of the game from the players, coaches and the fans was like no other," he said. "I learn more and more each time I go and play and try to duplicate what I learn for both Chikasha Toli and Bak Bak teams."

Chickasaws traditionally used the game of stickball as an alternative to actual war. Chickasaws and other tribes would often settle political or boundary disputes on the stickball field as opposed to the battlefield. These games were highly anticipated and often brutal. The game has evolved since then to be played as sport with no tribally-significant implications at the end of the game.

For more information regarding:

Chikasha Toli', contact Brittany Wood at (580) 622-7140 and Chikasha Bak Bak stickball, contact Clovis Hamilton at (580) 272-5592.

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