The McMinnville Civic Center ball fields will be the host site of one of this year’s Cal Ripken District tournaments. Nine teams are currently slated to play in next week’s baseball tournament for teams consisting of boys ages 11-12.
Starting Thursday, June 19, and ending Tuesday, June 24, nine teams will battle for two berths in the state tournament. Two years ago, the local Warren County All-Stars won the state championship in the boys 11-12 tournament.
Warren County will have two teams in the local district tournament next week. Travis Wilson, Darek Elrod, Matt Martin and Kevin Bottoms will lead a team of 11-year-old players while Mark Kuykendall, Mike Mansfield and Bo Rivers are coaching a 12-year-old team of all-stars, who tried out and were selected by coaches picked by the league.
Warren County Youth Baseball and Softball League coordinator Dell Watson is happy to see local teams playing in local tournaments once again.
“I want our community to be relevant again when it comes to holding tournaments. This is a big deal for us and we try to hold as many as they’ll allow us to run,” said Watson.
Because admission will be charged at the district tournament, the area around Dottie West Field and Sam Martin Field will be roped off. It is likely the West Elementary School parking lot will also be blocked to keep patrons parking as close to the action as possible.
With the focus on the district tournament, league games on June 19-24 have been rescheduled, though Watson says most leagues were already completed to avoid any conflict.
“We may have to move one night of games in one league, but I’ve already spoken to those coaches and they are fine with it,” said Watson. “Lots of leagues have already completed either their regular season or finished completely. We’ll start the tournaments in many of our leagues after the district tournament ends.”
Watson believes one league – the 4-year-old co-ed T-ball league – may still play during the district tournament Saturday, June 21. Those games may be moved to Cat Walker Field.
McMinnville Civic Center has invested lots of resources in improving the fields to make the complex more attractive to potential big tournaments. The moves seem to be paying off as one state tournament was held locally last year and Watson is hopeful more will come in the future.
“It seems like we’ll get one state tournament every other year. We asked for one this year, but we had just held one last year,” said Watson. “We’re trying to get more tournaments. We’ve spoken to people about holding girls softball tournaments too.”
Recently, a slow-pitch softball tournament was held at McMinnville Civic Center. If anybody would like to hold a tournament at McMinnville Civic Center, contact Watson at 473-1212.