North Canton will host Little League International's Junior State Tournament starting Saturday. Teams from Wheelersburg, Cuyahoga Falls, Jefferson, Hardscrabble, Maumee and Oxford will join our local Vikings team in a weeklong tournament for the chance to advance to Regional play Aug. 5 in Fort Wayne, IN.
The ultimate goal is to advance to Taylor, MI, Aug. 14 for the Little League Junior World Series.
Host District Administrator Tom Meder is excited to have teams from all over the state coming to North Canton.
"District Four is always glad to host a Little League State Tournament," Meder said. "We offer excellent facilities and the games usually prove to be very competitive and entertaining."
Games will be played at Dick Miller Field at and Field 8 at the Little League complex on East Maple Street. Opening Ceremonies get the tournament under way Saturday at 11 a.m. at Dick Miller Field. Hoover baseball coach Jeff Hite will speak along with Meder and North Canton league President Gary Giammarco.
Tournament Director Tom Besozzi feels the participants will have a unique opportunity as some of the best baseball players in Ohio in the middle school age group.
"This will be a great opportunity for the players to develop their skills in an atmosphere of top-notch competition," Besozzi said.
North Canton's team will begin play on Sunday at 4 p.m. at Dick Miller Field. They will play the winner of the Maumee vs. Miami game Saturday. North Canton is the defending Junior State Champion.
Members of North Canton's team include: Tristan Ross, Jacob Brewster, Sam Russo, Jacob Hugill, Jake Szendrey, Tony Iero, Kyle Braucher, Storm Koelble, Jake Jajack, Chris Machamer, Michael Magana and Heath Gustafson. Austin Blyer and Zach Manos are on the roster but unable to play because of injuries. The squad is coached by Doug Hampton and Jon Lucas.
Game schedules and results can be tracked by following ETeamz.com.