Tournament of Champions next for top Little League teams

Skye Kinkade
The Mount Shasta Marlins are the majors team preparing to compete in the Tournament of Champions this weekend in Cottonwood. Shown are coaches Brian Johnson, Adam Crisci and Jason Ferguson. Standing in the back row are Addison Zanni, Nolan Johnson, Donovan LaFortune, Kaimana Ferguson and Kayden Crisci. Seated are Gage Kinkade, Kekai Ferguson, Caleb Santi and Chris Rees. Not pictured is teammate Derek Kreider.  Photo by Skye Kinkade

As the 2013 South Siskiyou Little League season comes to a close this week with pizza parties, cupcakes and plenty of pats on the back, two teams are gearing up for the Tournament of Champions which gets underway this weekend.

In the Majors, the Mount Shasta Marlins, coached by Jason Ferguson, finished in first place.

In the Minors, Brandon Cordes’ Weed Storm came out on top.

The Marlins are scheduled to play in Cottonwood Saturday evening, June 8, at 7 p.m. If they win, they will return for a home game on Monday, June 10.

Storm has a first round bye and will play either Central Tehama or Red Bluff on Monday, June 10 at 7 p.m. in Red Bluff.

Mount Shasta will be the host of this year’s Softball All Star Tournament, said SSLL softball coordinator Bob Saltzgaver. The tournament will be played on fields at Shastice Park and Mt. Shasta Youth Sports Park on June 22 all day.

Coach Ferguson said the Marlins are “a good group of kids” who have worked hard this season.

He said he appreciates how all the majors teams support one another and watch each other’s games to cheer on their friends.

Marlin players are: Nolan Johnson, Kayden Crisci, Kaimana Ferguson, Kekai Ferguson, Caleb Santi, Chris Rees, Donovan LaFortune, Gage Kinkade, Derek Kreider and Addison Zanni. Assistant coaches are Brian Johnson and Adam Crisci.

Storm coach Cordes said his team worked hard to finish in first place this year after finishing second last year when they were the youngest team in minors.

Cordes called attention to the excellent play of Jake Peterson, who is (unofficially) batting .690 for the season. He also mentioned the play of Jodie Turner, the only girl in the minors league, who is Storm’s starting catcher, as well as Brandon Cordes Jr., Caden Greene and George Cook.

Other players who contributed to the winning season are Behr Marshall, Strider Albrecht, Julien Lonnon, Ethan Hayes and Ryan Mitchell.

He said Storm played solid defense, scored more than 100 runs, and allowed fewer than 30 over the entire season.

The first round bye will give the team a little more time to practice and prepare for Monday’s game,

“I think we will definitely be able to compete” Cordes said of the tournament. “If they don’t bring their A Team, they’ll be underestimating us.”

Cordes also thanked his fellow team coaches, including Caleb Cordes, who has been coaching with him for five years; Forest Cook, who’s been coaching for four years; and Nick Mitchell.

“We definitely couldn’t have done it without them,” Cordes said.