Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunshine Tournament

It's spring! We spent last weekend in sunny St. George at the March Madness tournament watching Jake & Wade's South County Rebels battle it out with teams from throughout the state of Utah. They went in as the underdogs because they are a new team, only been together for about 6 months, and 3 out of 10 of their players are brand new. They were pretty nervous going in because the teams from down South have the ability to practice outside year round, and the Rebels have been stuck practicing in a dance studio for months.
Game 1 was against a St.George team, and we managed to beat them 11-2! That was a pleasant surprise and gave the little guys some swagger in their step. The next team they played they won 11-1. Day 1 was a success, but we were looking forward to much tougher opponents on day 2.
Day 2 opened with a game against an Orem team that they have met up against before but have never won. They have a really excellent pitcher in their arsenal. They played tough all game but ended up losing by 1 point. Jake pitched half of this game and did a great job, even when it wasn't looking to good. He kept his cool and battled through. We saved our best pitcher for game 2 that day against the Synergy. They were the best team in our bracket by far and were undefeated for quite some time. The little guys went in with all they had and squeaked out a win of 11-9! Pandemonium. The coach on the other team is one of those 'career coaches' and could not believe that some no-name team just beat him! His sponsors are not going to be happy...
The 3 wins got us into the championship bracket for final game day. Basically 32 teams down to 8. They were the 8th seed so had to play the hardest team in the 9u division. They could not win against the giants from SLC, but were very proud to even be playing that day. They were very good sports, even in a few sticky situations with crazy score keepers and opposing coaches, and managed to have alot of fun in the mean time. Wade only lost his cool a few times, but promptly apologized to the players and restated his complaint in a calmer fashion. Jake is becoming one of the best little catchers around. His small stature makes it very easy for him to bounce and jump and basically catch anything that is thrown at him. His no fear attitude makes him throw his body in front of all pitches so that nothing gets by him. I overheard a coach of the SLC team tell his players that they were absolutely in no way supposed to try to steal bases that game because that catcher would get them for sure. Nothing like fear of a 62 lb 9 year old! That's my Jakey...

The baseball world can get a little too competitive and crazy, even at this young age, so we are constantly reminding the boys that we are the team that still has fun playing baseball. 8th place out of 32 teams is pretty darn good. Way to go Rebels!