From the Sidelines
The Bellevue sports blog
A lot going on in Bellevue sports even with the preps out of season. Straight to the action:
Issaquah-Sammamish sports reporter has a recap from the Brandy Pugh Memorial Tournament, which took place this past week and featured Senior American Legion baseball clubs from across the state.
Bellevue resident and mother of three Janice Spray is less than three weeks from competing in the Reebok CrossFit Games in Carson, California.
The 5’0 tall Spray earned automatic qualifier status to the Games in the Master’s division and is the first ever qualifier to the Games from CrossFit Bellevue. Look for a more in-depth feature of Spray and her time in the gym from the Bellevue Reporter soon.
The sports section of this week’s paper is dedicated almost solely to Little League All-Star coverage, as the District 9 12-year-old All-Star tournament begins on Saturday at Hartman Park in Redmond.
In the course of conducting interviews with managers from Bel-West, Thunderbird and Bellevue East Little Leagues, the topic of coaching one’s own kids came up and each of the three was gracious enough to open up on the topic. Most kids play Little League at some point, but few have the chance to work hand-in-hand with their father during such a formative period of their athletic career and life.
12-year-old year is also the final step between youth baseball and select ball, which means for many dads, it is their final chance to coach their sons. I know the time my dad spent with me on a baseball diamond from age five to when I finished Little League as a 12-year-old were some of the best times of my life, times I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.
Bel-West 12-year-old All-Star manager Jeff Neely:
It’s tough all the way around, I don’t want to favor him over others that may be stronger at a certain position, as then other parents will come down on me for that. As a 12 year old he has had to take a leadership role and been expected to perform time and time again. And he has done that. Thanks to his hard work with catching instructor, Ben Johnson, and all the time in the batting cage at Rijo this winter.
All-Star tournaments in the 10 and 11-year-old divisions get rolling this weekend. More information on that after the jump, but first, a few more submitted photos of local Little Leaguers that slipped under the radar.
To have your youth athletic team’s accomplishments in the Bellevue Reporter, submit photos and information to Sports Reporter Josh Suman at email@example.com or by calling 425-453-5045.
The first photo is of the Rookie League champs from Bellevue Thunderbird, the Giants. Rookie League players (who are seven and eight year olds) are not eligible for All-Star teams, but on the bright side, there is nothing quite like ending the season with a championship.
Coach Steve Emanuels of the Bellevue Saints 12U select squad submitted the second photo after his team, including some who will represent Bellevue East Little League in the Majors All-Star tournament next weekend at Redmond’s Hartman Park. The Saints won the Sport Spot Tournament in Renton last weekend.
The third is of the Bellevue East Athletics, who are led by intrepid head coach Terry Taylor (center, back row). The A’s won the first City Tournament title for Bellevue East in five years according to Taylor.
Congratulations to both squads pictured below, all the players and coaches (and parents, of course!) who are embarking on their All-Star quests and all local Little League players from Bellevue East, Bel-West and Thunderbird Little Leagues.
I just received an email from Hercules Sports Management, the group that is presenting the Mission Viejo High School Football Classic and is headed by former Bellevue Athletic Director Brian Hercules.
Not a lot of new information, but Brian did relay the message that tickets are available online at herculessportsmanagement.com and that advanced ticket purchases are recommended. “We strongly encourage advance ticket purchases, as prices will increase when online purchasing is no longer available,” Hercules said in the email.
The Washington State Baseball Coaches Association released their All-State teams Wednesday and a trio of local players cracked the list.
Both Cole Wiper and Jared Fisher of Newport were named second-team All-State in class 4A by the WSBCA as pitchers. Wiper led the team in ERA with a 1.01 mark and also struck out a team-leading 73 batters. Fisher notched a team high eight wins and also led the Knights’ 4A state quarterfinal squad with 51 innings pitched.
Jeff Cirillo, a 14-year MLB veteran and 2-time All-Star selection (1997, 2000), is hosting a youth baseball camp on July 18-21 at Clyde Hill Elementary. Other instructors will include Jason Ellison, Chris Minaker and Ben Johnson.
Ellison, who attended South Kitsap High School and Lewis and Clark State, was drafted in the 22nd round of the 2000 amateur draft by the San Francisco Giants, made his MLB debut in 2003 and hit .316 in 352 at-bats in 2005 for the Giants. Ellison also spent time with the Mariners, Reds and Texas Rangers. He will be providing base running and outfield instruction at the camp.
Select baseball teams from throughout the area will be back on the diamond Wednesday for the Seattle Premier League Invitational, with the Championship round taking place on Sunday at Husky Ballpark on the campus of the University of Washington. Teams from as far away as Spokane will converge on the Eastside and Seattle for the tournament, which features 22 teams divided into four divisions. In addition to the UW, Magnuson Park and Denny Field, tournament games will also be played at Bellevue College, Bannerwood Park, Interlake High School and Sammamish High School.