The Powell Little League Majors All-Stars, coming off a third-place finish at the Riverton tournament last weekend, will head back to Riverton next week for the start of the Wyoming Little League …
The Powell Little League Majors All-Stars, coming off a third-place finish at the Riverton tournament last weekend, will head back to Riverton next week for the start of the Wyoming Little League District 1 Tournament.
The Powell Minors All-Stars will be joining their older counterparts in Riverton, playing for the right to advance to the state tournament in Torrington later this month.
“We’ve got a good group of kids,” said Majors head coach Bret Fauskee. “We went to Riverton last weekend and played in a tournament down there, ended up third. We got some of those nerves out of the way a little bit. We got a little bit of team cohesion going.”
The Majors All-Stars roster includes Trevion Solberg, Brody Payne, Max Reynolds, Teason Schultz, Ryan Barrus, Talon Nuss, Dominik Bieber, Weston Thompson, Ben Ostermiller, Cole Fauskee, Zane Graft, Jordan Loera and Hugo Torres. Coach Fauskee is assisted by Cale Ostermiller and Carl Schultz.
The Minors All-Stars roster features Carter Fauskee, Tucker Muecke, Memphis Solberg, Ben Smith, Kaedenze Carter, Knox Johnson, Tag Thompson, Pratt Wambeke, Ryder Stewart, Christian Love, Landon McDonald and Dakota Erickson. The Minors are coached by Jeremy Love and assisted by Dave Caudill and Stacey Carter.
The Majors squad will play a doubleheader tonight (Thursday) against the Lovell All-Stars. The pair of tune-up games come as each team readies itself for Districts.
Fauskee has been coaching since his kids were old enough to pick up a bat, and was the head coach of the Powell Braves this summer.
“I got into coaching because of my kids,” Fauskee said. “I was asked to coach — they didn’t have enough coaches when my son started in coach-pitch about five or six years ago. I’ve coached every year since.”
Asked what he enjoys the most about coaching, Fauskee said the answer is easy: Working with the kids.
“That’s the best thing about it, hands-down,” he said. “It’s a good group of kids, and that makes it fun.”
Last year’s Majors All-Stars had an exciting run, winning the District 1 title and finishing third in the state tournament. Most of the kids on that roster have aged out of Little League and moved into Legion ball, and Fauskee said this year’s squad will have a different look.
“There were only one or two kids from that team last year that stayed back and played Little League this year,” he said. “They were a much older team than we are. We’re pretty well split down the middle with 11-year-olds and 12-year-olds. We don’t have as deep of talent as that team last year. We’re not counting ourselves out of anything when it comes to going to state, we’re just trying to make it through districts at this point.”
This year’s Majors team has already shown its resiliency, dropping the first two games of the last weekend’s tournament in Riverton before battling back in the consolation bracket to finish third. Powell played five games in a 24-hour period, beating Cody and Lander in the loser’s bracket before losing 9-8 to Rock Springs. A win in that contest would have put Powell in the title game.
“Defensively, all the kids played really, really well,” Fauskee said. “We didn’t have a terrible amount of errors, and we played some teams that had some very big and experienced kids on them. Some hard-hitting teams. The kids didn’t give up, they fought through the whole time. I was really happy with the way they came out and played that last day.”
As for the Minors All-Stars, head coach Jeremy Love said although the team won’t have the benefit of any tune-up games before Districts, he likes what he’s seen so far in practice.
“We’re looking pretty strong. We have some strong pitching, some strong fielding,” Love said. “And we definitely have some strong hitting going into next week. We’ve gone with just strictly practice for this age group, but it’s been all baseball, baseball, baseball. We haven’t talked about anything else.”
Love said the kids are excited to be on the All-Star team and to represent Powell in Riverton next week. Though he’d like to see his team win the title, his expectations are for the kids to use the tournament as a learning experience and, most importantly, to have fun.
“All these kids are going to be Powell’s future in baseball for Legion and everything else in the coming years,” he said. “It’s fun to have them as they’re just starting to learn the game and to help mold them into the players they can be.”