On Thursday, August 3, the Waukee Warriors hosted the first two All-Star Series baseball games. The Warriors had two athletes representing their team on the Large Schools West Squad team; Calvin Smith who played outfield and pitched and Bubba Woods who was the catcher for the team.
On the Small Schools West Squad team, Adel-DeSoto-Minburn had Kade Overton representing the Tigers in the outfield and Woodward-Granger had Spencer Hanson representing the Hawks on the mound.
“It was a really good experience for both teams, because you don’t normally get to play the small schools against the big schools and it’s nice to see how they stack up against each other,” said Hanson.
The Large West and the Small West played the second game of the night. The two teams played an extremely close game that went into an eighth inning. Both teams fought hard for that first win, but the Small West team came out with the 10-7 win.
“I thought both teams played great it was great to get all the teams together and getting guys off every team playing together and building stronger friendships between everyone, I think that’s good. Both teams hit the ball well, it could’ve gone either way,” Smith said.
All four athletes played a strong game. Hanson pitched the majority of the game for the small team and was able to keep the large team at seven runs. Overton didn’t enter the batting lineup for the small team until halfway through the game, but he was still able to get two hits in for the team.
“I think it’s fun, because I used to play with Calvin back in USSSA and I haven’t played with him in four years and now we’re playing against each other so that’s kind of fun,” Overton said. “I think it was just fun, because no one roots for the small schools, well everybody just counts the small schools out it in the past, and we came out here and proved everyone wrong right away.”
Both Smith and Woods scored one run for the large team. Smith also had two base hits and Woods hit a double for two RBIs.
The All-Stars are nominated by their coaches, but only the top 64 seniors around the state are selected to play by the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association.
Each player is put onto a team based on their location in the state and the size of their school. There are four All-Star teams; Large Schools East Squad, Large Schools West Squad, Small Schools East Squad and Small Schools West Squad. The large teams are generally comprised of Class 4A schools and the small teams are Class 3A and smaller.
Smith commented on how different it can be playing with and against different schools.
“It’s a lot different [playing with rival teams] usually you’re rooting against them and now you have to cheer for them. It’s a different feeling, but I think it’s good,” Smith said.
The Series is played over four days (Aug 3-6) and is played tournament-style. Each team will play one another once and on Sunday morning the consolation and championship games will be played.
The All-Star Series was held from Aug 3 to Aug 6. Waukee hosted the the first and second rounds of doubleheaders on Thursday and Friday. Johnston hosted the third round on Saturday and the consolation and championships were held in Ankeny on Sunday.