For the Gold Country Bears 13U baseball team, the entire season has led up to one final tournament. One last chance to represent Nevada County baseball, and this time against competition from all over the United States at the Youth Baseball National Tournament in Sparks, Nevada June 16-22.
“We’ve built to this,” head coach Russell Brackett said. “Our practices and other tournaments have all built toward this big tournament. These boys have never done anything like this. We want it to be like their World Series.”
The 13U Bears, of the Gold Country Baseball Academy in Grass Valley, are a tight-knit group of local ballers who head into the national tournament having won two of their last three regional tournaments.
“This team has an inseparable bond that we play with,” said Anthony Packard, who plays third base, outfield and pitcher for the Bears. “We play for each other.”
Their bond is what makes them a contender in any game they play, and will make them a contender in the national tourney, said Brackett.
“I’ve been really impressed with how they’ve come together,” he said. “They trust each other and they have each other’s back, and that’s what matters. These kids are unbelievable when it comes to their camaraderie and their belief in each other.”
This sleuth of Bears marches into the national tournament with confidence after winning two regional tourneys this season and making it to at least the semifinals in four of the six they played in.
“I think these boys are going to compete and I expect them to do well, if not win,” said Brackett. “I think we are going to have a good showing, not only from a win-loss…
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