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home : sports : local May 26, 2016

6/2/2013 6:00:00 AM
Local Little Leagues gear up for busy month
Kingman South Red Sox Hunter Empey hits a line drive during a game Wednesday at Southside Park. The Red Sox will represent Kingman South in the Major Tournament of Champions that starts Monday. The Red Sox will play at 5:30 p.m. while the Dodgers of Kingman North will play at 7:45 p.m.RODNEY HAAS/Miner
Kingman South Red Sox Hunter Empey hits a line drive during a game Wednesday at Southside Park. The Red Sox will represent Kingman South in the Major Tournament of Champions that starts Monday. The Red Sox will play at 5:30 p.m. while the Dodgers of Kingman North will play at 7:45 p.m.

Rodney Haas
Miner Sports Reporter

KINGMAN - Yuma's loss is Kingman's gain.

With the Yuma Little League's decision to not host any Little League tournaments, and Parker's decision to pull out of hosting, Little League's District 9 members decided to award the Major Tournament of Champions and the 10-11 All Star Tournament to Kingman.

"The city of Kingman does a great job with our fields, and that's one of the things we always push," said Kingman North Little President Leigh Pitts. "We have great fields, the weather is good and I think that sort of draws it."

Also helpful: the reputation that both Kingman North and South have developed in hosting TOCs, All Star tournaments, and the success of last year's state Minor's tournament. According Kingman South President Oscar Lopez, that reputation was a major reason for awarding the tournaments to Kingman.

"I think it really did, especially in the eyes of the district administrator, Donna West," Lopez said. "I think that was the biggest part. We have never really had any major issues occur during a tournament that wasn't taken care of immediately."

According to Pitts, Lake Havasu City also bid for the tournaments. At the end of the day, the district decided on Kingman.

"Goodness, look at the weather," Pitts said. "Where are you going to find this kind of weather? It's a lot better then playing down in Havasu, where it's 110 degrees when the sun is going down."

Havasu will host the Minor TOC beginning Thursday and running through Saturday.

The single-elimination Major TOC will kick off at 5:30 p.m. on Monday when the Red Sox of Kingman South will face Laughlin. The Dodgers will represent Kingman North and will play Bullhead City at 7:45 p.m. The tournament will continue through Wednesday with the championship game.

"Our families don't have to spend hundreds of dollars to travel, getting hotel accommodations and eating out every night, and you never know when you are going home," Lopez said of the tournaments being in Kingman. "It's a night-to-night basis. At least with our teams here, if any of our teams end up going home early, then they just drive down the street and go home."

In addition to the TOC, Kingman North will host the 9-10 All Star tournament, June 14-22. It's an event that was already scheduled for Kingman. Kingman South will host the 10-11 All Star Tournament, June 21-29, while the 11-12 All Star Tournament will take place June 19-27 in Bullhead City.

Lopez said the tournaments were moved up by two weeks after Little League decided to move the regional and sectional tournaments. He wasn't sure of the true reason, other then maybe giving players who do make the Little League World Series more time to practice.

However, during last year's state Minors tournament in Kingman, some of the players on the teams had already started school, or where going to be starting school within the next week.

"It could be," Lopez said of the possibility of earlier school starts. "We haven't heard why they did it."

Kingman South will also host the 13-14 All Star tournament, July 8-12. This year, South combined with North to field a senior league team for ages 13-16 and will form two separate All Star teams for the 13-14 and 15-16 age groups.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2013
Article comment by: A More Informed Parent Who Dug Deeper

I am from the Williamsport area. Baseball was BIG where I grew up. I was excited to have my little get into baseball. After two years of TBall, we were excited to see our son move up to instructionals.

Despite prior comments, I was still not satisfied and I decided to call the main office in Williamsport, PA because something just seemed off about this entire situation. Williamsport directed me to our regional office in California where I spoke with Jim Gerstenslager who informed me that the CHANGE of the regional and sectional tournaments was not of their decision, but was a local decision and I should direct my concerns to Donna West, the District Administrator.

To my great surprise, not only did she react that she did not know of the cancelled games, but I was surprised to find that two of my son's three cancelled games actually had fields available. I was assured that the games would have never been cancelled for the tournaments. She promised to look into it further for me and she wanted me to post her phone number for anymore concerned parents. 928-785-6053.

Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2013
Article comment by:

Like we don't pay money? Us "Super Stars" have only had 1 field to play on? You guys have 4? I don't know what you meen by superstar, but it's not like your teams has had the only canceled game. .stop whinning. Maybe the city of Kingman should build more fields? Oh wait they can't cause there broke. Hmmmmmm. Sharing is caring. I've been playing on those fields for 9 years. Little league is doing a great job. Keep it guys.

Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Article comment by: Kingman Folk

I don't understand why you guys feel like it is okay to canceled every little kid's games so older kids like super star could use their field. All of us paid for our kids to play baseball so they should be playing those fields just like those super star kids. Every parents on our team is very upset.. If there were another league that we could use in this town then I would have switch over to them but you guys are lucky. It sucks that we paid 60.00 for our kids to play when softball league only charge 35.00 for girls to sign up.. You guys should think about lower the sign up price. Good for you guys to feel its okay for those super star so you can earn the money.. I felt sorry for all of those little kids who doesn't get to play 2-4 games and they looked forward to them..

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