With all the attractions and events surrounding the Babe Ruth State Tournament being held in Cassville this week, someone might forget about possibly the most important attraction, Cassville's team.
The Cassville team is made up of a compilation of players selected from teams that played under the Cassville Charter.
The team includes: Trevor Tanner, Ricky Vanderpool, Josh Dyer, Cody Cantwell, Ryan Henry, Kyle Rhea, Shannon McClintock, Jamie Musick, Blake Dilbeck, Levi Roberts, Josh Hartin, Joshua Steward, Colton Beck and Travis Northern.
Most of the players hail from the Cassville Democrat team, but Head Coach Charlie Steward also has some area players joining the roster. "The additions of Trevor Tanner from Cassville and Blake Dilbeck and Jamie Musick from Wheaton have been very nice," said Steward
Immediately after the district tournament ended, the new Cassville team was formed and began playing. The team has played nine games together and is 5-4, but don't let their record fool you as the team's lineup has been constantly changing to try to determine their best fit. Not to mention that the all 15-year-old or younger team has played games against much older squads, including an all 18-year-old team.
In the three-year history of having its own charter, Cassville has never won the tournament. When playing under a charter with Aurora and Monett, the squad once made it to the semi-finals but that is as far as they have ever progressed.
However, the newly built squad seems ready to break that record.
"We are ready, and we are excited," said Steward.
Cassville faces off against Boonville in their first round of the tournament. The game is slated to start at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 26 at the Cassville High School baseball field. Cassville's next opponent will be determined upon the outcome of that game.
In addition to Cassville, other tournament teams include Southwest Ozarks, Mineral Area 15s, SEMO South, Boonville, Sikeston, Lebanon and Macon.
In other news, it appears Levi Roberts, a standout for both the Cassville Democrat team and the Southwest High School team, is ready to come back from an injury suffered earlier this month.
Tournament elimination games begin at 9 a.m. on Friday with games scheduled every two hours. Saturday's play also begins at 9 a.m. with games again played at two-hour intervals. The championship game will be played at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
A big opening night on Thursday is planned as well. Hiland Dairy will be handing out free ice cream to ticket holders and Louie the Cardinal will be at the ball game between 5:15 and 7:15 p.m.
Barbecue dinners will be available at the ball park from Jason Gaskill's Country Caterin' and an outdoor concert featuring the Hometown Sound will be presented after the last game.
A second concert by Roaring River Sound will be offered after the last game on Friday night. Both concerts are free with a same-day game ticket. Individual and family tournament passes will also be available.
For more information about the tournament, visit www.cassville.com/baberuth.htm.