Tis the season to be jolly if you are a fan of youth baseball over the next few weeks.
With Little League and Babe Ruth postseason action in full swing, the area should be proud of the effort our teams have displayed.
The Elkins 15-year-old All-Stars are one victory away from capturing a state title. The squad, weather permitting, will face either Huntington Southeastern or Beckley today at Robin Harvey Memorial Field.
Huntington held a 5-1 over Beckley in the fourth inning on Tuesday night before rain postponed the conclusion of the game until 5:30 p.m. today.
Elkins has displayed the look of a champion during its three wins in tournament play. Manager Chris Broughton's team has outscored its opponents by a count of 33-3, including a 14-1 win over Huntington on Monday night.
The chat of "fundamentals" rang out as the team celebrated the win. The defensive effort displayed by Elkins was a joy to watch after witnessing several games over the past couple weeks where errors seemed to drag the contests along.
Broughton and his coaching staff, which includes Keith Hopwood, Tug Ross and scorekeeper Brad Schumacher, should be commended for the job they have done with the team.
While handing out praise, if you see any of the several volunteers who work on the field crew at Robin Harvey Memorial Field, be sure to give them a big thank you. The group has done a fabulous job of making the field one of the best kept in the state.
While the 15-year-old state tournament winds down, Little League will take center stage in Elkins on Saturday with the start of the 10-11-year-old state tournament being contested at Riverbend Park.
Ten teams from around the state will battle for the crown in a pool play format. Those taking part include Elkins, Bridgeport, Fairmont, Morgan County, Hurricane, Braxton County, St. Albans, Vinson, Martinsburg and Barboursville.
The tournament also showcases the fine Little League facilities at Riverbend, just like Robin Harvey Memorial Field, that are tops in the state. Volunteers for the tournament have worked very hard to make it a success and their effort will no doubt leave an impression on those attending.
And last but not least, two Randolph County teams will take part in the 11-12-year-old state tournament that gets underway July 20 in South Charleston.
Elkins and Tygarts Valley advanced with their efforts in the District 8 tournament.
Both teams will represent the area well the state competition against the best the state has to offer.
I strongly encourage the community to come out and support these teams. They have worked very hard to achieve their success and if you see them around town, be sure to wish them well or congratulate them on a job well done.
- Sports Editor Joey Kittle can be reached at 304-636-2121, ext. 109 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.