Archive for Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Plowboys snag fifth in Omaha

August 9, 2006

The Kansas Plowboys competed in the World Series last month in Omaha, Neb.

No, not that World Series.

Omaha long has been the home to the College World Series, but this summer it also was home to the USSSA World Series.

The Kansas Plowboys, an 11-and-younger squad consisting primarily of players from Leavenworth and Jefferson counties, placed fourth among 17 teams.

During pool play, the Plowboys went undefeated and drew the No. 3 seed as tournament play started.

The Plowboys settled for fifth place in the tourney. The squad finished its season at 48-21, a record that would be respectable for a team playing in that other World Series that's played each year at Omaha's Rosenblatt Stadium.

The Plowboys' season actually lasted a year -- from last August to this August. The team takes a break in November and December and gets back to some form of practice in January, according to coach Kirk Patterson, who also is an assistant on the McLouth High baseball team.

"From the beginning of (last) August until the World Series, we made a tremendous stride," Patterson said. "Most all of our losses came last fall."

Patterson's squad never won a tournament, but placed second six times.

"But we also go where we know the good teams are playing," Patterson explained. "We're not a trophy-hunting team. I think that's the only way you can accomplish getting the fundamentals and learning to play at the level of world series and state championships."

The squad didn't win the World Series, but Plowboys catcher Eli Keppler was named to the all-tournament team.

Patterson also is proud to represent a more rural area.

Players come from communities throughout Leavenworth and Jefferson counties.

"I think our biggest thing is we don't have the 40 to 50 kids tryouts like they do in Kansas City. ... With us taking what we have to work with out here, which has been great, to take a team from this area, a rural area, that by far is a major accomplishment," Patterson said. "We've had a lot of coaches tell us that. I feel pretty good. We're riding on a pretty good high right now."

Team members are: Brett Shelton and Travis Woods (Tonganoxie), Wyatt Farris, Koda Patterson and J.D. Prochaska (McLouth), Anthony Miele (Lawrence), Josh Williamson and Eli Keppler (Leavenworth), Joe Merino (Bonner Springs), Jesse Blick (Valley Falls) and Chris Gomes (Kansas City, Kan.)

Patterson already is planning next season. Tryouts are set for 7 p.m. Friday at Field of Dreams in Basehor. The squad will compete in the 12 and younger division of AAA. To be eligible for the team, youths cannot turn 13 before May 13, 2007. For more information, contact Patterson at (913) 680-7234.

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