Summit all-star teams take shot at state |

Summit all-star teams take shot at state

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

Because of the harsh winters and unpredictable springs, the little league baseball season can pass by rather quickly and almost unnoticed in the

high country.

Despite it all, Summit County’s little leaguers are determined to show this weekend that their short season doesn’t mean they are short on talent.

Three Summit County all-star teams are competing this weekend in the District 3 playoffs with a birth in the state tournament at stake.

Both the major team, comprised of 11- and 12-year-olds, and the 10-11-year old squad play in Steamboat Springs starting today. The majors play host Steamboat, while the 10-11-year-olds take on Grand County. Both games are scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

The minor team, which consists of players ages 9-10, play in Frisco at 1 p.m., today.

Dave Newkirk, head coach of the 10-11-year-olds, is confident in his team and hopes they can advance out of the playoffs and head down to Denver for the state competition.

“This is the age where baseball is really starting to be played like baseball,” he said. “So defense is really important, as is pitching. We have seven or eight solid pitchers on our team that all were starters for their teams this spring.”

The District 3 playoffs is a double-elimination tournament. But with only two teams competing at each level, it will basically boil down to best two-out-of-three.

“It is a little disappointing that there aren’t more teams, but I like our chances,” Newkirk said. “We’ve got kids who want to play ball. These aren’t kids just doing it for recreation.”

That fact is evident by the teams’ strenuous training schedule. Newkirk’s team practiced once per day for the first week and has since stepped it up to two-a-days: Batting practice at noon, full practice in the evening.

“The kids are really into it,” Newkirk said. “They definitely seem to enjoy it.”

Thrown into the mix of their practice schedules, the all-star teams have been scrimmaging one another, because little league regulations prohibit all-star teams from playing any official games before the playoffs begin.

“These kids have played about 14 or 15 games in the past month anyway. So the time of just practice certainly doesn’t hurt,” Newkirk said.

All the players from the three all-star teams were picked from the major and minor divisions of the Summit County Little League through a combined try-out. The league wrapped up play at the end of June.

The three all-star teams will play their second games of the playoffs on Saturday. Third games, if needed, will be played Sunday.

Bryce Evans can be reached at (970)668-4634 or at bevans@

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