Cal Ripken ends year, looks to all-stars

Published 11:21 pm Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Cal Ripken division of the Demopolis Youth Baseball League wrapped up its regular season last week with its annual championship tournaments, leaving first-year president Art Evans to reflect upon the season that was.

“The weather cooperated with us tremendously,” Evans said of a season that saw very few scheduling conflicts. “We had a great summer of ball with only one or two days out of that time where the rain impeded any ball games.”

The regular season wrapped up last Thursday with the conclusion of the 9-10 age group’s tournament, a bracket that saw the Manley, Traeger, Perry and Stapp Orioles emerge as champions. That victory finished off a week that saw the Mason and Gardner Mets win the 11-12 title while the McDonald’s Mariners walked away with the 7-8 championship.

“The local tournaments, we had I think just one weather-related hiccup,” Evans said. “We had the best of both worlds. We were able to play ball and our crops didn’t suffer.”

In addition to the fortuitous weather, Evans said the league was once again blessed with strong participation from players and coaches.

“We had good participation and coaches did what we asked them to,” Evans said.

Perhaps the most beneficial new feature of the season was the presence of the two new tee ball fields at the Sports-Plex.

The venues helped facilitate on the busiest schedules in league history.

“It was great to have those two new fields down there for the 4 and 5-year-olds,” Evans said. “Rarely could you look over there and not see some excitement going on. Kudos to the park and rec department in getting those two fields ready for us. Obviously with more fields to play, you can get more games in in a smaller amount of time.”

The league now turns it attention entirely to all-star play. The 7-8 all-stars will be coached by Hugh Overmeyer and assistants James Thrash and Marvin Ford.

Their District 10 tournament will begin with pool play June 8 and see a brief stop in Demopolis on June 9-10.

The 9-year-old all-stars will be coached by Terry Lay and assistants Chris Tangle and Chris Petrey.

That team will receive an automatic bid to the state tournament.

The 10-year-old all-stars will see Scott Parten at the helm and Ronnie Cox assisting. They will begin district tournament play on June 22, with a visit to Demopolis scheduled for June 23 and 25.

The 11-year-old all-stars will be under the tutelage of Brian Sellers and Steven Rodrigues. They will receive an automatic bid to the state tournament.

The 12-year-old all-stars will be coached by Rob Pearson, Derek Moody and Gary Schroeder.

That team will also begin its district play on June 22 with dates in Demopolis on June 23 and 25.