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Little League inter-city championships coming up

June 02, 2002|By RICHARD MONTENEGRO, Sports Editor

Little Leaguers throughout the Imperial Valley are wrapping up their regular seasons and gearing up for inter-city championship play.

On June 10 the District 22 minor league tourney will begin, with the majors to follow June 19, 9-10-year-old all-stars July 1 and 11-12-year-old all-stars July 10. All tournaments are double-elimination.

Participating organizations include Calexico, Imperial, Brawley, El Centro, Holtville, Sunbeam and Seaview little leagues.

Sunbeam president Gary Hevener, whose organization will host the minor and major tourneys at Sunbeam Lake in Seeley, said, "We look forward to playoffs. Right now we're in doing our own to see who we're going to send. Tonight's (Saturday) the best two-out-of-three playoff format to see who's going to represent Sunbeam.

"The city championship — not so much the all-star games — have always been bragging rights of the Valley," he said.

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The minors and majors tourneys will run from June 10-18, with Seaview randomly drawing a first-round bye in the minors. The majors will be June 19 through 27, with Sunbeam drawing the bye.

El Centro Little League will host the 9-10 all-stars July 1-9. Holtville drew the bye.

Brawley will host the 11-12 all-stars July 10-18, with El Centro drawing the bye.

The El Centro and Brawley league presidents couldn't be reached for comment at presstime Saturday.

Little League District 22 administrator Joe Duran said he's looking forward to the start of the tournaments.

He said the minors and majors are exciting because it readies the younger players for tourney participation. He said while the minors and majors end with the inter-city championship games, the 9-10 and 11-12 all-stars champions go on to play in Little League sectional tournaments in San Diego and if they win in San Diego, the regionals in Long Beach.

If any of the local all-star squads have what it takes, there may be a long trip to Williamsport, Pa., to play in the Little League World Series in the cards.

"Mexicali had a team in District 22 in the late '70s and they won the world championship in Williamsport," Duran said, adding Mexicali has since been put into a Mexican district.

In related matters, District 22 umpire and local attorney Brookes Anderholt said sending local teams to the sectional, regionals and possibly beyond can get quite costly as food, rooms and transportation costs are usually picked up by the individual city leagues.

Those looking to donate money for such trips can contact Duran at 353-0022.

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