By Ray Hamill — It was a good week for several local Little League all-stars, with multiple North Coast teams making a deep playoff run.
The McKinleyville 8-10s and 12s both represented District 26 well and placed fourth and third, respectively, at the Northern California state championship tournaments, while the Del Norte 8-10s enjoyed an historic summer and placed third at the Oregon state tournament.
So it will come as no surprise to see these players dominate our athletes and team of the week honors, sponsored as always by College of the Redwoods Athletics.
The young Del Norte players captured the imagination of their community with their history-making summer.
And they had to battle to succeed.
After sweeping all four games at their district tournament in late June, the resilient Del Norte youngsters responded to a tournament-opening loss at the state championships by winning three straight elimination games, before ultimately falling one win shy of a championship showdown.
And they earned the respect of their opponents along the way.
“They’re a very gritty team,” manager Tyler Bachmann said of his players. “I had lots of people say that about them.”
Brothers Carson and Crew Hicks each played pivotal roles in their teams’ playoff run and both were front and center again this week.
Younger brother Crew has helped set the tone for the Mack 8-10s, starring behind the plate and on offense, including hitting a couple of key base hits in Tuesday’s elimination showdown against Aptos.
Carson was equally important to the McKinleyville 12s, playing a pivotal role as they won three straight elimination games in Stockton, before eventually bowing out of the tournament one win shy of a championship showdown.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
McKinleyville Little League
One day after the McKinleyville 12s lost their state tournament opener, Carson helped get them back on track with a dominating pitching performance against Maidu on Sunday, throwing a complete game on just 79 pitches.
For good measure, Carson also had one of his team’s most consistent bats this week, including hitting a key two-RBI triple in a 7-3 victory over Capitola-Soquel in must-win game on Wednesday.
Crew, meanwhile finished 2-for-2 with a triple and a double and four of his team’s RBIs in a exciting 6-5 loss to Aptos at the 8-10 state tournament in Hiller Park.
Despite the loss, the younger sibling epitomized his team’s fight and refused to go down easily in their biggest game of the summer.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Del Norte 8-10 All-Stars
The young Del Norte All-Stars set a new standard this week, blazing new trails for their association.
The team closed out the summer season with a record of 7-2, rallying to win three straight must-win games after an opening loss at their state tournament.
The resilient team includes Chase Bachmann, Manuel Contreras, Teagan Good, Hudson Jacot, Mason Lindsay, Charles Mavris, Lionel Ramirez, James Land Jr, Isiah Brunson, Louis Moorehead, Jase Price-Lewis and Barrett Whitford, and was coached by manager Tyler Bachmann and assistant coaches Steve Bachmann and Casey Duncan.
For more on the Del Norte All-Stars, see Del Norte All-Stars enjoy historic run at state tournament …