LITTLE LEAGUE: All Stars gear up for District 11 tourneys | TheUnion.com

LITTLE LEAGUE: All Stars gear up for District 11 tourneys

It's that time of year again. When the top ballers in the area showcase their skills and represent their local Little Leagues in the District 11 All Star tournaments.

"It's really exciting," said Penn Valley (8-10 year old) All Star Ava Ban. "We have a great team so I think we will play really well."

Fellow Penn Valley (8-10 year old) All Star Kelly Baker said this is a special time of year and he's excited to share it with his teammates.

"I'm so glad to be an All Star and that other people can feel that feeling," he said. "I like seeing smiles on people's faces and it's really fun."

Teammate Boston Pope said he was a little surprised and very excited to be selected as an All Star and his goals for the upcoming tourney are simple.

"I want to get some good hits and our team to win some games," he said.

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For most of the Penn Valley (8-10 year old) All Stars this is their first foyer into the annual tournament. For all the boys and girls competing in the upcoming all star tourneys its an opportunity to experience a higher level of competition and pageantry, and to keep playing ball into the summer months.

"For all of us (coaches) it's about seeing the kids get to experience something that has more ceremony and more focus behind it," said Penn Valley (8-10 year old) All Star coach Ken Ban, who was a Penn Valley All Star when he played Little League. "We want this to be about the kids having a great experience. Obviously, we're going to try and win the games and we're going to put the best team on the field we can, but we're also going to be inclusive of all the players."

Ken Ban and his group of All Stars begin their journey through the 8-10 year old tourney at 5 p.m. today when they face the All Star team from Grass Valley at the Little League field in Auburn.

All Star teams from the Bear River, Lincoln, Mid-Placer, Tri-City, Rocklin and Sierra Foothills Little Leagues will also compete in the double-elimination tourney which runs through July 6.

As for what it will take to win the title: "effort and a good attitude," said Baker.

Baker's teammate Greg Smith added "hard work" will be needed as well.

MAJOR DIVISION (10-12 year olds)

The District 11 Major Division All Star Tournament is back at Pioneer Park and gets going at 5 p.m. today with a contest between the Grass Valley All Stars and the Tri-City All Stars. Teams from Lincoln and Bear River will follow at 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday features first round games between the Sierra Foothills All Stars and the Auburn All Stars at 5 p.m., followed by a Penn Valley vs. Mid-Placer matchup at 7:30 p.m.

The host Nevada City All Stars open tourney play at 7:30 p.m. Thursday against the winner of the Lincoln/Bear River bout.

The Major Division Tourney is double-elimination and runs through July 7.

9-11 YEAR OLD DIVISION

The All Stars from Auburn and Foothill get the 9-11 year old tourney started at 5 p.m. today at the Lincoln Little League ball park. They are followed at 7:30 p.m. by the All Stars from Nevada City taking on the Sierra Foothills All Stars. Grass Valley's All Stars take on the Tri-City All Stars at 5 p.m. Wednesday. They are followed at 7:30 p.m. by the All Star teams from Rocklin and Lincoln. The 9-11 year old tourney is double-elimination and runs through July 5.

JUNIOR DIVISION

The Junior Division All Star tournament is already under way with teams battling it out for a spot in today's championship round. The title game is set for 6 p.m. today in Rocklin.

SENIOR DIVISION

The District 11 Senior Division All Star Tournament featured just two teams. Lincoln took the championship with a pair of wins over the Nevada City All Stars.

For complete list of all star tourney brackets visit http://www.district11llb.com.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.

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