By Ray Hamill — One local team stands out head and shoulders above everyone else this week and that’s McKinleyville Little League.
And I’m not just talking about the 36 all-stars who are playing at three different state tournaments.
Ask any of the coaches what is the secret to McKinleyville Little League’s tremendous success in recent years and they’ll tell you it’s the support they receive from the entire community.
McKinleyville Little League has hard-working players, dedicated coaches, countless parents who volunteer to help out in whatever way they can, local businesses who support the young athletes and a community support as good as any in Humboldt County.
And they need it with all the travel and games they play each summer.
It takes a community to succeed the way these young players have, and that makes McKinleyville Little League and everyone involved our Team of the Week.
As for our Athletes of the Week, well, it’s difficult to single out any one player when three teams advance to their state tournaments on back-to-back-to-back days.
But two players in particular played huge roles for their teams — Hudson “The Huddy Badger” Kapko on the Mack 12 All-Stars and Rhythm Green on the Mack Junior All-Stars — each of whom pitched a gem in the deciding section tournament games this week.
And that makes them our Athletes of the Week, sponsored by College of the Redwoods Athletics.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Both pitchers were outstanding this week.
Kapko has been one of the McKinleyville 12s most consistent stars all summer and he continued that in a 1-0 win over Chico Eastside on Monday.
Kapko gave up just four hits and no walks in six scoreless innings and struck out 10, while using four different pitches effectively to keep opposing batters baffled at the plate.
Green was equally impressive for the Juniors in a 4-2 win over Durham in eight innings in the Juniors’ championship game on Tuesday, pitching a complete game and allowing just three hits and no walks and striking out eight.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
McKinleyville Little League
Three of the four McKinleyville Little League all-star teams have qualified for their state tournaments this summer, a remarkable accomplishment that even tops last summer’s impressive tally of two Mack teams at the state tournaments.
The success of McKinleyville Little League is showing no signs of slowing down, as the young players continue to represent Humboldt County in a very positive light.