ST. GEORGE — The Snow Canyon Little League Baseball team is on its way to Vancouver, Wash., to compete in the Western Regional Baseball Tournament.
After a sensational season of competitive local play, this team of 12 boys will take on teams from all over the western region, including Hawaii, Alaska, Southern California, Northern California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. There has never been a team from Snow Canyon that has won the Western Regional Baseball Tournament.
“Little League is a unique opportunity for these young men. Not only do they get to represent their community, they now get to represent the entire state of Utah,” said Junior League Director Nate Staheli. “You don’t even get this experience in high school because the state championship is the final crown. For these boys, they have a chance to play for the World Championship.”
A team from Utah has not won in more than 15 years.
Competition is not new to this group of boys. Most of them have been playing baseball together since they were 8-years-old.
“If they are not playing organized baseball, you can often find them in the back yard, or at the park playing good, old-fashioned Wiffle Ball,” Staheli said. Many of them play football and rugby as well.
One of the many strengths of this team is its pitching staff.
“We have four main starters, but almost any one of the boys could come in and and throw the ball well,” said Nate Jensen, the head coach. “The league has pretty strict rules concerning the pitch count, so we’re fortunate to be so deep at that position. We also have a great defense and some big hitters in the line-up.”
The first game is today against Arizona. The rest of the schedule consists of Nevada on Thursday, Oregon on Friday and Idaho on Saturday. The teams from California and Hawaii are considered the favorites. The top four teams from the 11 team pool will play a single elimination tournament with the right to play in the World Series in Taylor, Mich. This story will be updated as the team progresses through the tournament.
Story written by guest contributor Brett Brostrom