Cal Ripken All- Stars head to eastern California for regionals
When the Cal Ripken 12 year old little league all-star team went to the state tournament in Salt Lake on July 3, they knew it would be fight, because with teams from all over the region, victory was no guarantee.
Early wins, especially against Alpine generated confidence, but after suffering a bitter lose at hands of Rose Park, they were thrown into the losers bracket with greatly diminished chances of coming out on top.
The team however did not give up hope and rose quickly, prevailing against Hunter Cyprus and Turrila which eventually would put them against Rose Park twice more before the competition was over. And by tournament's end it was Carbon County who came out on top and will be headed for the South West Regionals in eastern California on July 28.
"We've played pretty solid ball thus far, but we're also trying to smooth out our rough edges with hitting and fielding," said coach Mike Lessar over the phone.
While Lessar believes that the team has been playing game solid, he would like to see more consistency especially when it comes to playing less skilled teams.
"We tend to play at the other team's level," said Lessar. "If it's a better team, we play better, but if their not as good, that's where we are too."
Members of the all-star team are picked throughout the regular season based on "outstanding ability," according to Lessar who has confidence that they will do well in California.
However the journey to California is not short and because it can be expensive, the team is currently in the process of raising money for the trip through varies activities around the community.
"The kids are going around to local businesses and getting support, but we've also sold snow cones. I'm really impressed with the community's support for the team there's a lot of appreciation here for us." said Lessar.
Overall Lessar is confident that the all-stars have a solid chance at coming out on top in California. He just hopes that the team can stay more consistent, and knows while the upcoming tournament will not be easy, it will most certainly be a good time.
"I really just want to thank some of the coaches who made a lot of this possible, Darrell Lewis, Bob Fossat, Manager Darrin Hurdsman and Clark Thayn," concluded Lessar.