Baseball Team Closes Out Season in Hawaii
The 12 and under all-star team from Ron Wood park in West Jordan advanced to play in the Southwest Regionals in Honolulu, Hawaii, this summer. (January Dudack/JenuArt)
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The players and coaches of the West Jordan/Copper Hills baseball’s 12 and under all-star team finished off a fabulous summer with a trip to Hawaii –and not for a vacation.
“The majority of the team has made the all-stars the last few years,” parent and fan Katie Dobson said. “Last year they went to the 11 and under regionals in Vernal. It has been great watching them progress over the years into the ball players they are now.”
At the Pacific Southwest Regionals held in Honolulu, Hawaii, from July 11–15, they didn't pull out any victories. Despite the losses the team experienced, players said it was the trip of a lifetime with friends and their families.
The 12 players were selected by their coaches to represent their league in state, region and accelerated tournaments. The league’s major division age group was made of 10 teams this season and approximately 120 players.
“We hosted a three-day tryout so we could look at the kids on multiple days,” head coach Mark Young said. “All the league’s kids could tryout, but they had to know the commitment and the possibility of going to Hawaii. The financial commitment was there. This exact same team went to regionals in Vernal last year, and 11 of the 12 have played together for three years.”
In June, the team was selected, and they began preparing for tournament season. The pre-all-star tournament was held from June 14–18. Copper Hills defeated a team from American Fork for its initial championship.
“We had seven or eight kids that we used pitching-wise in different situations,” Young said.
“It was good to be able to rely on that many arms when we needed to. Zack Wallin was a primary pitcher all year. He is left-handed and very good; Seth Dobson, Hunter Logan and Ryan Van Leeuwen were the main pitchers for us.”
They then hosted a district qualifier and, without a loss, advanced to the state tournament in Riverton. In the state tournament they again held serve and qualified to advance to the regionals in Hawaii.
“Twelve-year-old baseball has got to be the greatest age to play –that is what you see on TV,” Young said. To have the opportunity to take a baseball trip to Hawaii was a great experience. This group spent a lot of time and weekends together, so they became pretty good friends.”
The team members included Hunter Logan, Parker Young, Sam Proctor, Izaiah Madrid, Colton Atherly, Seth Dobson, Greyson Wallin, Ryan Van Leeuwen, Taz Anderson, Zack Wallin, Nektarios Zervos and Aiden Dudack. They were coached by Mark Young, Matt Logan, Robert Dobson and Jeff Van Leeuwen.
In 2015, this team advanced from the state qualifier and played in the region tournament in Vernal. The team held fundraisers throughout the season and did extra work for the league to help pay for the trip.
The West Jordan/Copper Hills Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth League plays its games at Ron Wood Park west of the Mountain View Corridor on 9000 South.