Another successful season for the Reinbeck All-Stars was capped off on July 1st with a Tri-County championship on our home field. The A-team went undefeated in league play this year, and suffered just one loss this season in extra innings to a tournament tested South Tama team at the North Tama Tournament in late June. The pitching duties were handled by Tyler Tscherter, Eli Thede, and Cullen Eiffler, all of whom also rotated between the 3rd base and shortstop positions. Our three outfielders this season were Cody Johnson, Keagan Giesking, and Aiden Walters. The catching position was manned by Will Kiburis, while Aiden Wyatt and Jace Petersen rounded out the defense at 1st base and 2nd base, respectively. Trevor Harrison, Dylan Riffey, Kale Hasselmann, Danny Gleissner, and Brandon Strohbehn also saw some playing time on the A-team this summer.
Since we only had 11 games this season in a weakened Tri-Co. league, I wanted our players to see some tougher competition, so 7 of our starters joined with some players from a Cedar Falls team to play in a Waverly tournament. In a 6 team tournament, we played teams from Waverly, Dubuque, and North Liberty with good pitching and very good defense. At the end of the 2 day tournament, we were undefeated and won 1st place.
Although this year's B-team came up empty in the win column, they competed very well, losing a couple close games in the last inning. As usual, our B-team had to play most of its games against A-teams from other towns, so I am very proud of the effort put forth and the improvement shown from the first game to the last. Ethan Gienger, Dylan Riffey, Danny Gleissner, and Will Kiburis all spent time on the pitching mound for the B-team. Kale Hasselmann filled the catching position. Trevor Harrison, Casey Knaack, Brandon Strohbehn, Trey Eggers, and Zane Stice all took turns rotating between infield and outfield positions.
We only had 18 players sign up for baseball from 4th-6th grade, so the town rec. league for this age group was basically 4 All-Star inter-squad scrimmages. Players got to try some different positions, and several of them tried pitching. We lose 7 of this year's starters, and nine 6th graders from the All-Stars, so next year will be a rebuilding year. I wish the best of luck to all the players moving up to 7th grade next season.
This year's 2nd-3rd grade boys group was a very competitive bunch with very good defensive skills to go along with their strong hitting abilities. There were several scoreless innings in games played by the two teams, several double plays, and all around good fielding. We also scheduled 2 games with a 2nd-3rd grade team from Dysart, and won both games decisively. I enjoyed the hustle shown by this group, and I look forward to working with them again next summer, as many of them will be joining the All-Stars. It should be an exciting young group!
The 1st grade boys and the 1st-2nd grade girls tee-ball group was a great deal of fun to work with again this summer. The first practice with this group is always my favorite day of the season. I love meeting the new players and experiencing the different personalities. It is often a challenge to get them to remain excited for an entire hour of baseball in the hot weather, but they did a great job this year. There was definitely more offense than defense with this group, but they did show improvement on the defensive side by the end of the season, and did a good job of knowing where to throw the ball, even if they didn't always get an out. Every player had success at the plate, hitting off of coach's pitches more often than having to use the tee. I will miss the 2nd grade girls who move on to play softball next year in 3rd grade (you are a very fun group) and I look forward to working with all the 1st graders (boys and girls) who will be back next year. You all did a great job!
I appreciate all the help from former players who umpired, parents, siblings of players, and other family members during the town rec. league games, All-Star games, and in the planning and putting on of the Tri-County tournament this year. As always, I consider it a blessing to be able to work with the kids each summer, doing what I love to do. God Bless!