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For bragging rights

Manteca City tourney staged for local Little Leagues

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For bragging rights

Tyler Soulier of the Northgate Dodgers tags out a player from the Manteca Little League Pirates in District 67 Minor Division Tournament of Champions action last year.

JONAMAR JACINTO/The Bulletin


POSTED June 3, 2011 12:05 a.m.

The three Little Leagues organizations in Manteca will get a preview of their District 67 Tournament of Champions competition next week.

Manteca, Spreckels Park and Northgate Little Leagues will participate in the first annual Manteca City Little League Tournament which kicks off June 6.

The tournament, presented by Casino Real, will have major- and minor-division brackets. Teams from all three Little Leagues will battle in a single -elimination tournament that will produce the city’s top team heading into the postseason.

“I would have to say that our goal is to highlight the benefits of Little League baseball in our community,” Manteca Little League president Becky Meredith said. “It really is a chance for us to show what a great organization Little League is.

“It gives the youth of the community, both boys and girls, so many opportunities to be a part of the team.”

The tournament’s brightest highlight may rest in the fact that these players still have a season. For so many of the young Little Leaguers the season has finished, giving those players who would otherwise not have had postseason engagements another chance to take the field.

“There is a lot of excitement out of the players because their season doesn’t end,” Meredith said. “Now they get to come back again and get to play in one last week long big event.

“It gives the kids who don’t typically get a postseason a chance to experience a tournament.”

The Little League’s will have an opportunity to showcase their division, which has been the foundation to youth baseball since the Manteca Little League paved the way over 50 years ago. All three leagues joined forces to make the tournament a reality and will take pride in the opportunity to show Little League is alive and well.

“This really is the beauty of Little League baseball,” Meredith said. “It really is why all of our board members, in all three leagues, are so passionate about Little League, because it does give every kid and opportunity of being on a team and interacting with one another.

“It really is a great experience.”

Action will take place on diamonds at the home sites of each Little League: Lincoln Park (Manteca), Neil Hafley School (Northgate) and Brock Elliot School (Spreckels Park).

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