Friday, June 30, 2006
Steamboat Springs Little League coach Stace Toye set out the clean, bright red district tournament jerseys.
The 9- and 10-year-old boys snatched them up.
"They were all picked from this year's minor league season, and a try-out was available," Toye said.
The boys didn't get to keep the jerseys -- they were for a photo only -- but the Steamboat Springs Little League District 3 team will wear them proudly next weekend when they try to win a district title that eluded them last season.
"We've got a great team," Toye said. "All of them have been playing since they were in T-ball."
For most, that's at least four or five years, if not longer.
On Friday, the team took an infield with baserunners, practicing situations with bunts, pop flies, etc.
"We have three kids returning from a team that made the championship game but lost last season, 2-1," Toye said.
Steamboat also has six boys who played on a local team that won a Triple Crown Division 3 Tournament.
The District 3 tournament features six teams: Routt/Moffat, Eagle-Vail, Summit, Grand, Skyline, which is Leadville, and Rocky Mountain, which is Idaho Springs.
The double elimination district tournament runs Friday to July 13, depending on the number of games, in Breckenridge.
Some families will have to commute between Steamboat and Breckenridge, but the team has eight sites reserved at Lake Dillon, so the boys can camp and play baseball.
The winner advances to the state tournament later this summer in Grand Junction.