Sandpoint American Legion Baseball thriving

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  • (Photo by BILL ANTHONY PHOTOGRAPHY) Billy Brackett squares up a pitch in the U19 Lakers’ home opener recently at War Memorial Field. The local Legion program now has three teams playing this summer.

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    (Photo by BILL ANTHONY PHOTOGRAPHY) Local veterans making up the Honor Guard lend a great air to the festivities during the recent American Legion Opening Day ceremonies at War Memorial Field.

  • (Photo by BILL ANTHONY PHOTOGRAPHY) Billy Brackett squares up a pitch in the U19 Lakers’ home opener recently at War Memorial Field. The local Legion program now has three teams playing this summer.

  • 1

    (Photo by BILL ANTHONY PHOTOGRAPHY) Local veterans making up the Honor Guard lend a great air to the festivities during the recent American Legion Opening Day ceremonies at War Memorial Field.

SANDPOINT — Baseball continues to emerge in the region, as the 2018 season marks the fourth consecutive year of growth for Sandpoint American Legion Baseball under the leadership and guidance of head coach Ken Oler.

The trend began in 2015 when Sandpoint added their first ever U16 team to the Legion lineup and in their first season made the trip to state, finishing 5th among 47 Washington and Idaho teams.

The 2016 and 2017 seasons were marked with continued growth and with the 2018 season upon us, program expansion has continued with the addition of a new third team.

“There are many people responsible for the growth we have seen in our Legion program over the past several seasons. As a program we focus on the process of getting better and remembering our why,” said Oler. “Looking out across the field during our Opening Day ceremonies and seeing 42 players ages 13–19 years-old, eight coaches, the local Legion Post presenting colors as Sierra McNamee gave an inspirational performance of the Star Spangled Banner, followed by Matt Peak throwing out the ceremonial first pitch as the Peak family looked on, echoed out loud our why and affirms our focus is in the right places.”

The teams started out strong in their openers, with the U19 North Idaho Lakers going 3-0 with a 10-1 win over the Northern Lakes Mountaineer, followed by 11-0 and 7-1 wins over the Moscow Blue Devils.

The North Idaho Lakers Juniors Single A team went 2-1, beating Shadle Park 11-4 before falling 4-3 in the nightcap, followed by an 11-2 win over University.

The Lakers Juniors Short A team lost 10-8 to Mead to kick off their season.

n U19 AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL SCHEDULE

6/13 — @ Coeur d’Alene, 5:30 p.m.

6/15 — Host Wooden Bat Tourney, three days at WMF and Pine St.

6/21 — @ Big Bucks Tourney in Libby (four days)

6/27 — vs. Northern Lakes, 7 p.m. at WMF.

6/30 — vs. Lewiston, DH at 3 and 5 p.m. at WMF

7/2 — vs. St. Maries, DH at 5 and 7 p.m. at WMF

7/3 — vs. Northern Lakes, 7 p.m. at WMF

7/7 — @ Moscow DH

7/8 — vs. Missoula Mavericks, noon at WMF

7/10 — vs. Coeur d’Alene, 5:30 p.m. at WMF

7/14 — @ Orofino, DH

7/15 — @ Lewiston, DH

7/19 — @ Districts

7/30 — @ State

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