Six Wood River youth baseball teams are among 22 Idaho squads in two divisions gathering for the 39th annual Ray Nelson Invitational tournament Friday and Saturday, July 9-10 at Nelson Field.
Tournament director Mike Brunker and Wood River All-Star director Andy Portillo are excited to have over 60 kids in the 9-12 year-old All-Star program, leading to the entry of six local teams in 2010.
Plans call for double elimination with consolation format in the 11-12 year old "Majors" and 9-10 year-old "Minors." Games begin Friday at 8 a.m. and continue through 7:30 p.m. Saturday's action starts at 8 a.m. with the "Majors" championship at 4 p.m. and the "Minors" finale at 6 p.m. in Hailey.
The family and player barbecue is Friday evening, at which time the Donnelley Sports Skills Challenge will be held featuring outfield relay, around the horn, fastest around the bases and home run derby.
The tourney started in 1972. It is named for Hailey baseball booster Ray Nelson, who bequeathed a love of the game to family members and friends before passing away in 1970.
Here are the participating teams plus rosters of Wood River squads:
11-12 Division: Wood River Black, WR White, WR East, Meridian Sabres, Nampa Red, Nampa Blue, Twin Falls Patriots, Northside (Jerome), Mini-Cassia Braves and East Boise Thunder (10 teams). Last year's 11-12 winner was WR Gold—first local champ in nine years.
9-10 Division: Wood River Green, WR Gold, WR West, Nampa Red, Nampa Blue, Lil' Spartans, Burley Cubs, Twin Falls Cowboys, Twin Falls Pioneers, Mini-Cassia Braves, Northside (Jerome) and Meridian Thunder (12 teams). Not returning is two-time champion Fruitland Cubs.
Wood River's 11-12 teams
WR Black: Head coach Randy Jorgensen with assistants Gunnar Whitehead, Bill Whitehead and Tony Benson. Players are Jake Jorgensen, Brandon Benson, Reide Whitehead, Nic Tidwell, Gunnar Gibson, Nelson Cantrell, Hagan Barsch, Dylan Broman, Tripp Hutchinson and Austin Savaria. First game: 8 a.m. Friday vs. Northside.
WR White: Head coach Terry Wall with assistants Brian Nelson and James Nelson. Players are Keaton Wall, John Blackburn, Brock Mary, Cade Schott, Owen Gifford, Raphie Rodriquez, Zach Nelson, Will Long, Wyatt Johnson, Cooper Stone and Kyle Nelson. First game: Friday 8 a.m. vs. WR East.
WR East: Head coach Kirk Felger with assistants Sam Urbany and Bruce McStay. Players are Zac Mcstay, Dylan Urbany, Dayne Urbany, Lane Felger, Alex Venslauskis, Adrian Rojas, Connor Lohrke, Jack Rizzo, Cole Rozyla, Wyatt Smith and Jacob Bullotti. First game: Friday at 8 a.m. vs. WR White.
Wood River's 9-10 squads
Wood River Green: Head coach Charlie Dunn with assistants Luke Macdonald and Matt Buxton. Players are Ike Buxton, Tiernan Naghsh, Canyon Macdonald, Jett Erickson, Wilson Dunn, Burrell Jones, Colby Whitehead, Alec Broman, Carson Gardner, Christian Hovey and Wyatt Parish. First game: Friday at 8 a.m. vs. Twin Falls Cowboys.
WR Gold: Head coach Matt Douthit with assistants Scott Manning and John Stevens. Players are Connor Manning, Klayton Douthit, Jake Blackburn, Jack Stevens, Hunter Oldham, Chris Nordsieck, Elliott Portillo, Andrew Nelson, Garrett Lovell, Alex Sanders, James Cantrell and Crow Macdonald. First game: Friday 8 a.m. vs. Mini-Cassia.
WR West: Head coach Brian Bothwell with assistants Jeff Roth, Brent Diehl and Andy Jones-Wilkins. Players are Logan Jones-Wilkins, Jeren Bothwell, Christian Bothwell, Stephen Roth, Hunter Diehl, Travis Wilson, Henry Chirp, Jack Wojcik, Henry Raff, Nick Smith and Sawyer Judd. First game: Friday 2 p.m. vs. winner of Burley Cubs-Nampa Red.