ELKINS - Elkins' bid for the Little League 11-12-year-old state championship gets underway at 1 p.m. Friday when the team takes on Martinsburg at Chapmanville in pool play.
Elkins coach Matt Davis said the kids are excited for the opportunity to play in the state tournament. He said the squad has been working hard during practice.
"We have drawn a tough pool," Davis said. "But as a team we have progressed over the last few weeks. The focus and work ethic has been great. The kids have continued to get better each day. I can speak for the whole staff in saying these kids have been a pleasure to coach."
Photo courtesy of Bridget Nicholson
The Elkins 11-12-year-old Little League All-Stars will begin state tournament play at 1 p.m. Friday against Martinsburg in Chapmanville.?Team members include front row, from left, bat boys Nick Cooper and Owen Stanley; second row, Nathan Cooper, Tyler Davis, Brayden Davis, Brennon Weese, Alan Bennett, Anthony Jones, Remington Stanley, Josh Reckart, Logan Comer, Cory Reed and Blake Harris; and back row, coach John Davis, manager Matt Davis and coach Chris Weese.
Elkins will compete in Pool A with Martinsburg, Bridgeport and Mountaineer.
The remainder of the 14-team field includes Milton, Mullins, Central Greenbrier, Summersville, Beckley, League 3, Hurricane, Madison, Morgan County and Worthington.
Davis said the kids have been working on the fundamentals during practice - hitting, pitching and fielding. He believes the team will be ready when game-time arrives.
"For the games, we need to continue to play to our strengths," Davis said. "Our hitting has been very solid. Hopefully, we can continue this. We have a huge undertaking, however we feel that the kids are prepared and will be ready to compete. As we have told them - pitch- by-pitch, inning-by-inning."
Davis said the team would also like to thank the community for all the support they have provided.
"The generosity of Elkins is amazing," Davis said. "Elkins Little League would like to thank everyone who has been so kind."
Elkins earned a spot in the tournament with a 14-2 victory in four innings over Braxton County July 3 in District 8 play at Summersville. Elkins went undefeated in the tournament, defeating Tygarts Valley and Clay County to win the Pool B title.
Members of the Elkins All-Stars include Josh Reckart, Tyler Davis, Cory Reed, Blake Harris, Logan Comer, Nathan Cooper, Brayden Davis, Brennon Weese, Alan Bennett, Anthony Jones and Remington Stanley
Davis is assisted by John Davis and Chris Weese, while Nick Cooper and Owen Stanley serve as bat boys.