Three Rivers Little League All-Stars shine bright on field, championships are next
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
The Three Rivers Little League All-Star program is sending four different teams to play in championship tournaments starting on Saturday. This comes after all but two of the Three Rivers Little League All-Star programs won the District 1 All-Star Tournament this past weekend in Grand Junction.
To league director Steve Smart’s knowledge, this is the most teams they have ever sent — not only to the district tournament, but also the state championship. Smart credits this to the number of kids they saw wanting to come out to play in the all-star league this year.
The 14-year-old Junior All-Star baseball team, coached by Smart, captured the District 1 All-Star tournament title by defeating Colorado River Valley and Grand Mesa Little League teams. They will serve as the host of the other Colorado District champions and hope to bring home the state banner on Saturday in Aspen.
The Three Rivers Little League 14-year-old junior softball team tried to outdo the success of the junior baseball team by sweeping the Colorado River Valley Little League softball team. The Three Rivers All-Stars beat Colorado River Valley 20-6 in their first meeting and then 15-8 in their second. The team will now head off to Denver to face off at the State All-Star Championship starting Saturday.
Lastly, the 8- to 10-year-old Three Rivers Little League All Star team won the District 1 All-Star tournament after beating the Grand Mesa Little League team on Saturday. The team will now get the opportunity to travel to Delta to play in the State All Star Tournament starting Saturday.
The 11-and-under Little League All-Stars automatically advanced to the State All-Star tournament because there were no other teams in their division at the District 1 tournament to face. The team will start its state title pursuit this weekend.
It is an understatement to say the Three Rivers Little League program has rebounded from missing out on play last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Coming off of COVID, there has been a sense of newfound excitement around the all-stars. We have gotten a lot more interest this year after the pandemic with players who want to participate, which produces good teams,” Smart said.
Smart feels like every team has the opportunity to do well at the state tournament after beating “some strong teams during the district tournament.”
“We had a team back in 2019 win districts and go to a state tournament that we hosted, and a lot of current players got to see what that state championship was like, and I think this motivated a lot of our players to excel,” Smart said.
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A week after winning the District 1 tournament title, the Three Rivers Little League junior baseball and softball teams capped off their seasons by winning the Colorado State All Star Championship tournament. The Three Rivers 14-year-old baseball team played close to home this past weekend.