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Spanish Springs Cal Ripken All-Star squads eager for state tourneys
by Dan Eckles
Jun 28, 2013 | 1522 views | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Spanish Springs Cal Ripken League's regular season has been wrapped up for nearly three weeks, but that doesn't mean there is no more action around the league. It's five all-star teams are all gearing up for state tournament play.

The league's 8-and-under all-star team will play in its state tournament in Sun Valley July 12-14. The league's other four all-star teams -- 9U, 10U, 11-70s and 12-70s -- will participate at state tournaments hosted in Fallon July 11-14.

The 11-70s and 12-70s moniker mean those teams play on a length of 70 feet between bases as opposed to 60-feet.

The goal and expectation for most of the teams, if not all of them, is to win the state tournament and advance to regional play. The regional tournaments are often a week or two after state play.

Damon O'Connell is an all-star veteran. He has coached a pair of sons through the Cal Ripken ranks and has been a past president of the league. He is currently the 12-70s all-star coach and he's raring to get into tournament action.

"I'm ready to go," he said. "This all-star team I have is mostly an extension of our club team, with many of the same kids. Our club travel season will start when all-stars ends.

"The kids are ready to go. Most of these kids I've coached for the last four or five years. We're done with the grind of the regular season where we don't practice too much. You see some things slipping and now we're into weekly practices. The effort is picking back up and we're starting to get more reps back."

Brad Durski is the all-star coach for the league's 11-70s team. He said his squad is chomping at the bit to get into postseason state tourney action.

"We're having a great time," Durski said. "We've scrimmaged a couple teams, the Sparks Centennial all-stars and our 12-70s twice. We're having a good time and working hard. We've gone to regionals the last two years. This is the third year that the core of the team is the same. Our goal is always to win regionals. These kids are ready. They want to play."

The all-star season is often a favorite of the youths participating. They are our of school and playing baseball with friends. It shouldn't be a surprise they are anxious to don a uniform and compete.

"My kids are fired up and ready to go," said Justin Roper, who is the 9U all-star coach. "We're working right now on drilling them really hard and getting them ready for each other and used to each other. I believe they're ready to play some games.

"We're fortunate. We probably have six solid pitchers. Our defense is looking good and our hitting is coming around."

The league's other two all-star teams are being coached by Mickey Doyle (10U) and Billy Doyle (8U).

For more information on the Spanish Springs Cal Ripken League, check out the organization's web site at: CalRipkenbb.com

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