13-year-olds travel to Mulvane for state tourney
The days of summer are winding down, but not before the Jayhawks make a run at the state title.
The Babe Ruth 13-year-old team is headed to the state tournament in Mulvane this weekend after winning its district tournament last weekend in Ottawa.
"We swept the district," said coach Bob Farrell, who coached a DeSoto team in the regular season. "They came together as a team and really played well."
The team includes all-star players from five teams, Farrell said, making team work and communication keys to success.
"They have really come together these past two weeks," Farrell said. "They work together as a team and that helps them in the end."
The 'Hawks play their first round game against the host team from Mulvane at 8:15 p.m. Friday a match up Brendan Jackson said he was ready for.
"We've played pretty good the last few games, so we'll do good," said Jackson, an outfielder from Eudora. "We just need to play smart and don't make any errors."
Along with good solid defense, Farrell said the team would need to continue its communication and offensive power to do well at the state level.
"Their ability to hit is tremendous, and they tell each other where the plays are going to be," Farrell said. "But the way they conduct themselves helps them play well too. They're gentlemen."
Because of their class and team-spirited play, the players were awarded the sportsmanship award at the district championships.
"We're a good sportsmanship team. We don't yell at each other and our coaches are great," said Kyle Bray, a short stop and leftfielder from DeSoto. "They told us if we couldn't get first to get (the sportsmanship award). We got both, so it was great."
Part of staying positive is the desire to win and refusal to quit qualities that Farrell said were evident in the Jayhawks.
"They're very loose. They're very confident," Farrell said of the team as it prepares for the tournament. "But the one thing that really helps them is that they never give up."