MCK LITTLE LEAGUE: McKinleyville to host Tournament of Champions

Our local Little League season is over. Wow! What an exciting year it was. All teams won games, some more the others, and all teams lost, some many more games than others as well, but at the end I feel it was a great season overall and the players enjoyed themselves.

I want to thank all the coaches, parents, concession helpers, umpires, and board members that worked hard to make it a successful season for all the players in all divisions of baseball and softball too.  Fifteen players combined in our tri-city league to hit 29 home runs during the year, one of the most exciting plays in any game!

littleleague.6.12.13There were lots of great plays and some not so great, but the effort was there most of the time. Now we head to Tournament of Champions. This year it is going to be hosted by our own McKinleyville League starting on Saturday, June 15. The first game starts at 9:30 a.m.

Teams playing from our league are Murphy’s A’s and Trinity Diesel Rangers. Blue Lake’s Jays, Humboldt Outfitters and Barnes Drugs all will be back for consecutive years in the big event.

As promised I will now announce my top players in our McKinleyville league that enjoy watching and deserve being recognized for their efforts. These are just a few of the players, as I try to catch as many games throughout the season. I do feel there were lots of great little players, including players from Blue Lake and Arcata teams.

I would like to recognize a couple of players for their overall talents this season, first Blue Lake’s David Ramsey for being the best pitcher in the league, and 2nd Jaden Gorge possibly the best over-all player in the league, certainly one of the toughest players to get out on any at bat, smart pitcher and a great fielder where ever he was asked to play. But as I have done for years, players that I choose are from the McKinleyville league only.

Murphy’s Cameron Saso is my first player I want to recognize, only league age 10, he is one the the top fielding players in the entire league. Cameron hit 3 home runs this season. He has great control on the hill, with a variety of tough pitches to hit. Super attitude, and gets along very well with all his teammates, and is a true team leader by example. The best thing about Cameron is he has 2 years left in his career. He makes all his teammates around him better players and always encourages all of them.

Next is Chris Friedley of Rich Drilling Giants. Chris has a great attitude and works hard on keeping his teammates in the game. He had a great season, leading his very young team to a successful 3rd place finish this year.  I have enjoyed Chris the last few seasons as he has continued to improve each and every year. He always has a smile and respects his coaches and other coaches in the league.

Nate Ballew of Safeway is my next choice. Nate’s attitude and desire to do well are my favorite things about him. Early in the season Nate took a ball off his face, breaking his jaw and hurting him badly. Wow within a few weeks he was back on the field, with a new face-masked helmet taking his cuts at the plate again. In fact he was so confident his team kept a regular batting helmet near first base, as he often reached base and quickly made the swap of head gear. You have to love watching this young man play ball. Plus Nate is only 11 and will be back to help lead his Safeway team next season as they only featured 2 players of league age 12, as one of their top 12 year-old Danner Gonsalves never was able to recover in time from his foot surgery forcing him to be out all year. Sorry Danner we all missed you buddy!

Next player is another one close to my heart, as he played for Murphy’s. Kameron Chance is perhaps one of the most exciting players in our league. He is a very fast runner and knows when to take chances or not. He hits the ball with power, hitting 1 homer this year. Kameron was one of the top pitchers in our league, showing great control every time he took the hill for his team. What made him such a special player was his ability to play so many positions. He caught, pitched, and played a great SS or 2nd base, often making great plays at any position he was asked to play. Kameron is a very good athlete, I really also love to watch him play school basketball.

My final choice of my top favorite players is Lance Lally. Lance is an good all around player. He catches well, plays great defensively in the field, normally at SS, and is a tough pitcher to hit. He has great control and knows how to pitch to location well. Lance is a fun young man to be around and always very respectful of his elders. Lance helped lead the Rangers to their best finish in recent years, leading them to 2nd place in league and first appearance in the end of season annual TOC tourney, that will be hosted by McKinleyville LL this year.

As I have stated many times before, these are just a few of the top players in our league that I enjoy coaching and watching during the season. There are many more of them I could mention, but have to go with my top 5 only.

Please come out and support and cheer on all our players and teams, at the tournaments that will be happening over the next month. All-Stars will begin play with the 9-10 year olds playing in So Humboldt (Redway) 10-11’s at Redwood Empire, (Cutten fields) both of these tourneys will being June 22n The big grand-daddy of them all the  11-12’s start their games in Eureka ( Haney field) on June 29. Best of luck to all the players, coaches, and teams! Knock them out of the park. Always remember  to do your best, respect the game for what it is, and leave it all on the field, win or lose!

I do hope to have some TOC news as it happens and all-star action too, I personally will be working with our 9-10 yr old team, can’t hardly wait to start up!