The Lake Oswego Little League Baseball Majors all-stars are ready.
The Little League Northwest Regional tournament will be held at Al Houghton Stadium in San Bernardino, California, from Aug. 8-14.
Needless to say, the Lakers are looking forward to the opportunity. LO last sent a team to the regional tournament in 2013 and saw its 2007 team reach the World Series.
"It feels really good," said outfielder Luke Smith. "Just like knowing that we've worked really hard for this, and we know that we're a good team and we could go far."
"It's pretty amazing. It's a great opportunity," said catcher/infielder/outfielder Jackson Caylor. "I'd love to come out with a win going into school and everything."
Lake Oswego opens regional play when it faces Eastlake Little League of Sammamish — the Washington state champion — at noon, Sunday, Aug. 8. If Lake Oswego wins its opener, LO would play against Knik Little League of Eagle River — the Alaska state champion — at 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 9; if Lake Oswego loses its opener, it would play again at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 10. The complete tournament schedule is available here.
"I am very proud of these boys," said Lake Oswego manager Chris Kelly. "They started working out in January, set a goal, grinded through a lot of tough games and now they are realizing the opportunity of a lifetime. It's been the highlight of the summer and I am just happy to live the experience with them."
The winner of the six-team Northwest Regional will advance to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, from Aug. 19-28. Other teams in the tournament are: Eastlake Little League; Knik Little League; West Valley Little League of Eagle, Idaho; Boulder Arrowhead Little League of Billings, Montana; and Cody Little League of Cody, Wyoming.
While the challenge that lies ahead is a big one, the Lakers believe they have a shot at reaching the Little League World Series.
"I think we can go really far. I think it's going to be really good competition and there's a lot of good teams, but I think we're also a really good team," Caylor said. "I think we definitely have a shot at going really far."
"I think that we definitely could make it to Williamsport," Smith said. "We've got a really complete team and that gives us an edge on some of the others."
The rest of the team includes outfielder Ellis Bayne, outfielder/infielder Ezra Carlston, pitcher/infielder Crew Corry, outfielder Nate Cook, pitcher/outfielder/infielder Beckett Heher, pitcher/infielder Chase Kelly, pitcher/catcher/infielder Ben Robertson, infielder Cole Sturgeon, pitcher/catcher/infielder Ethan Uecker, pitcher/outfielder Kell VanDehey, outfielder/infielder Ryan Warhank, and coaches Tony Sturgeon, Brad Smith and Keith Caylor.
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