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Participation rises for 10U state tournament in Corsica/Platte

PLATTE -- It was a win for the local, small towns when the South Dakota VFW named Corsica and Platte co-hosts for the 2018 South Dakota Class B 10U state tournament at their annual meeting in January.

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PLATTE -- It was a win for the local, small towns when the South Dakota VFW named Corsica and Platte co-hosts for the 2018 South Dakota Class B 10U state tournament at their annual meeting in January.

That means 16 teams will travel to Corsica and Platte on July 13-15, which is four more than participated in the Class B 10U tournament last year.

“With Class B, we’re also trying to make sure baseball stays alive in the rural communities,” said South Dakota VFW Baseball Chairman Danny Frisby-Griffin. “(Platte and Corsica) have good facilities. They have access to pools at both sites for when they’re not playing games and it’s 100 degrees. And their community involvement has been really refreshing to work with.”

Tournament director Todd Strand said he wanted to host since it would give more local teams the opportunity to play in the state tournament compared to years when it’s hosted farther away.

Teams in the 10U state tournament don’t qualify through regional tournaments like in older age groups, rather only have to pay a fee to be included.

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As a result, the state tournament exceeded the 12 teams Corsica and Platte expected to participate.

“This year was a good year, so we got 16 teams in it,” said assistant tournament director Timothy Whalen. “If we would have had 20, that would have been a problem because it would’ve been really difficult to handle that tournament. But 16 is a pretty high number.”

The teams will be split into four pools, with two playing in Platte, one in Corsica and another traveling between the two towns during pool play. Neither Strand or Whalen are concerned about teams traveling between the two cities since there are lengthy breaks between games.

Also, having teams travel between towns isn’t new as Castlewood and Estelline hosted the 10U state tournament last year.

“It’s not unusual for the VFW to award a state tournament, such as this, to two towns that are nearby,” Whalen said. “They do it because one town doesn’t have enough fields. You need about three fields.”

However, no teams will have to travel on Sunday, the final day of the state tournament when the top-four seeds play in Platte.

“(We’re hosting it in Platte) just because we’ll need two fields on Sunday,” Strand said. “We’ll have two games going on at one time. The play-in games, so they can both be in Platte so nobody has to travel.”

Platte will also host the opening ceremony on Friday night at its amateur baseball field in order to fit all 16 teams.

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“(The SD VFW) sets kind of guidelines and expectations (for the opening ceremony) from the VFW point of view,” Frisby-Griffin said. “There has to be certain things: color guard, national anthem, the pledge. All the things that we think are very important to having civic-minded youth and build a tournament on respect and sportsmanship.”

There’s also a set of VFW guidelines the towns need to follow when conducting the tournament. Therefore other than the host site, there isn’t much difference between state tournaments every year.

The only minor difference this year is Corsica and Platte won’t hold a home run derby or throwing contest before the start of the tournament. Usually there’s time on Friday before pool play starts since teams have to arrive early to sign up, but games will start sooner this year due to the 16-team field.

“Given the numbers we have, we’re going to sign them up, get them registered and get to playing,” Whalen said.

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