Josh Mills, Staff
After years of traveling the United States the Sikeston 13-year-old All-Star team is set to host the Junior Babe Ruth Midwest Plains Regional at VFW Stadium. The eight-team tournament begins Friday morning.
Sikeston's squad didn't have to participate in the state tournament due to the fact that they were the host team of the regional. The layoff shouldn't affect the talented lineup as they're used to being a part of the Midwest Plains Regional as well as the World Series which they attended in 2007 in Aberdeen, Md. The squad has actually won the regional tournament in three consecutive years.
Head coach Rod Anderson is excited about the opportunity to host the tourney, stating that it 'will be a chance to see these young men in action in our own backyard.'
"We would really like to see a good crowd for these boys," said Anderson of the upcoming tournament. "They have played in five different states in the past three years and have played in front of some really big crowds. It would be great to have the VFW filled with Sikeston fans."
The team consists of members Tyler Anderson, Brandon Goodwin, Josh Hampton, Drew Harper, Josh King, Connor Landers, Tanner Murphy, Tyler Neal, Josh Reed, Cord Sheehy, Jacob Stinnett and Trey Tigart.
Tournament play will begin on Friday morning as the other Missouri unit goes up against Kansas. Two more games will be played in the afternoon and following an opening ceremony, the Sikeston team will wrap up the evening on the diamond against Colorado around 7:30 p.m.
Daily or full tournament passes will be available for purchase at the gate.
"As a team we haven't played any games because we didn't participate in the state tournament," said Anderson of the expectations of his squad. "However, I think we are rested and ready to go."
"We've got four new boys this year from year's past," he added. "The majority are Sikeston boys but we have a few from out of town. They're representing Missouri now."
Anderson said he doesn't know exactly what to expect until the teams arrive and he sees what they have.
He also added that the tournament should bring a lot of people into town with each participating state, and noted that the economy of Sikeston should see a slight boost for the coming weekend.
"I'm excited," he went on to say. "The big thing is I'd really like to get a lot of support out here. The boys deserve it and they've been around and represented Sikeston well, all over the country. It'd be good to have a great turnout on the opening night as a thank-you for these boys."