Sports

Little League tournaments to draw a big crowd

Josh Sterba tracks a grounder during practice for the South Whidbey Little League 9/10-year-old All-Stars at Community Park on June 23. Behind him are Tyler Thrasher and Andrew Hilton. To the right is Nick Black. Their District 11 games are in Sedro-Woolley.  - Ben Watanabe/ The Record
Josh Sterba tracks a grounder during practice for the South Whidbey Little League 9/10-year-old All-Stars at Community Park on June 23. Behind him are Tyler Thrasher and Andrew Hilton. To the right is Nick Black. Their District 11 games are in Sedro-Woolley.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe/ The Record

BEN WATANABE

Little League can be a big boon to local clubs’ coffers, as South Whidbey chapter President Jason Kalk knows.

Adding money to the budget for jerseys, player scholarships and other league expenses is just part of the reason South Whidbey Little League leaders are excited to host the District 11 softball and baseball All-Star tournaments starting this weekend. There’s also the sheer joy of seeing a hundred-plus children enjoying one of America’s oldest games.

“Definitely we make a fair amount of money in concessions from these things, but it’s also a boost for the program as a whole,” Kalk said. “We can showcase the baseball here in our community and the ultimate goal for kids to play in these things--to have fun.”

A total of 10 teams--six 11/12-year-old baseball squads and four 9/10-year-old softball squads--will take the fields at Community Park on Saturday, June 28.

It’s been several years since the Little League last ran two concurrent all-star tournaments. Kalk said it was “before my time,” but that the fields at Community Park gave them a leg up to host. With two baseball fields with permanent pitcher’s mounds and a softball field with a moveable outfield fence, the sprawling fields enabled South Whidbey to host the dual tournament.

“At any given time, there’s going to be three games going,” Kalk said.

With only a few days away, South Whidbey Little League still needs people to help keep score, operate the scoreboard, count pitches, staff the concession stand and announce the games. Unfortunately for those parents or spectators who are eager to show their know-how and officiate, umpires are already designated.

The grill will be fired up during the tournament with hot dogs, burgers and the league’s popular pulled pork sandwiches. Kalk encourages people to get their barbecue-slathered fix early in the weekend.

“Unless it sells out,” he said.

“We get lots of locals, even people who don’t have kids will stop by for a little bit,” he added about the tournament and its grilled goodies.

To volunteer with the SWLL District 11 All-Star Tournament, sign up online at www.volunteerspot.com/login/entry/717696744049. email Kalk at swllpresident@gmail.com

 

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