Cal Ripken League tourney begins

Published 6:57 pm Friday, July 15, 2011

The fight for the Cal Ripken League state championship began Friday as 12 teams   five in the 11U division and seven in the 12U classification – arrived in Washington for the double-elimination tournament held at the Susiegray McConnell Sports Complex.
Washington is being represented by two teams, one in each division, with the winner of each moving on to its respective Southeast Regional tournament.
Each year the tournament is held at a different location and this year Washington was the chosen destination.
“The tournament moves around each year,” said Washington Cal Ripken League President Jimmy Davis. “I have been the president for 12 years and this is about the eighth tournament we’ve had.”
During his time as president, Davis has worked hard to help make it a great event for those that attend.
“Naturally, the more you host tournaments the more you learn,” Davis said. “We’re just trying to show hospitality to the teams that come here, promote good baseball and have a good environment for the kids. We just hope everybody has fun.”
Fun is the key word as teams from all over the state have come to Washington in an attempt to earn the Cal Ripken crown.
“We have teams from Pitt County, Lenoir County, Craven County, Carteret County, Halifax County and Wake County,” Davis said. “Everybody is enjoying themselves. We have a nice complex and we do our best to host a good tournament, and all the teams we have talked to said they love to come to Washington.”
As far as the local teams go, Davis felt both of the home teams have as good a shot as anybody to win.
“I think they have a good chance at having a successful tournament,” Davis said. “Our 11-year old team finished second in the district and our 12-year old team finished third.”
From Davis’ perspective, the most important thing this weekend is that everybody comes out and has fun, which is why he took the role of Cal Ripken League President to begin with.
“The main reason why I do it is because I love the kids,” Davis said. “I love to see the kids play and I enjoy being around them. I love seeing the kids progress from having a little bit of skill when they come in to being a better player when they leave.”