They’re not professional athletes–yet–but they do have a serious love for the game of baseball.
“You can’t keep the kids from playing,” Brian Cooley, board member for Redmond Little League, said. “They’re so cooped from last year not being able to do anything. I think they’re just happy to be out here playing.”
After a cancelled All-Star tournament last year, not even 90 degree weather can stop Central Oregon little league players from participating in the 2021 District Five Little League Tournament in Redmond this week
“It feels back to normal and the kids definitely missed a lot last year, so the opportunity to be out here this year and playing and competing is great,” Steele Bailey, an All Star team coach, said.
A team who wins here will go on to the state tournament, then on to regionals in Southern California, and then possibly on to the Little League World Series in Pennsylvania.
“Got some strong teams,” Cooley said. “Lot of good players. The Bend North teams look phenomenal. High hopes. We could send a Central Oregon team all the way.”
It happened before. The Bend North All Stars made it to Williamsport back in 2016.
But at this stage, some might say winning is secondary. Many coaches and parents are there to pass on a love of the game.
“It is competitive at this stage, but at the same time, you know, we’re all here for the kids,” Bailey said. “It’s all for the kids. Helping them learn and grow.”