HOISINGTON —It turns out the 4th time’s the charm, not the 3rd time. The 11-year-old Quivira All-Star baseball team, comprised of Ellsworth, Claflin and Hoisington players, avenged three previous losses to CVL (the Cottonwood Valley League All-Stars) to claim the Cal Ripken State Baseball Championship in Garden City this past weekend for the 11-year-old Cal Ripken Division. The Quivira team will now advance to an 8-team, 5-state Regional tournament in Minot, North Dakota beginning July 31st.
The Quivira team is comprised of players from the 6-team Quivira League among the Ellsworth, Claflin and Hoisington communities. Representing Hoisington were Quentin Boxberger, Jaden Bradley, Jaxen Bradley, Holt Hanzlick and Cole Steinert; representing Claflin were Karter Beck and Trey Rolfs; and Ellsworth was represented by Trey Anderson, Dayton Davis, Braden Schulte and Cole Stewart.
It was never an easy road to get to the State Championship for Quivira. After finishing the pool play with a 4-1 record, Quivira found themselves in a 3-way tie for first going into the final four single elimination tournament. Because of their runs allowed, Quivira had to settle for the 3rd seed of the bracket and faced Labette County for the second time. Quivira defeated Labette County with a score of 4-2, securing them a place in the championship game. Following a two hour rest, Quivira once again had to face foe CVL, only this time with the State Championship on the line. Quivira’s strong defense and persistent batting proved to be too much for CVL in the tough championship game.
The Quivira All-Stars are now State Champions, achieving the goal set by Coaches Bernie Schulte and Jeff Beck and Manager LaVern Boxberger at their very first practice. Commissioner Night awarded players who made the All-Tournament Team. Quivira had four representatives on this team: Hoisington’s Quentin Boxberger, Holt Hanzlick and Cole Steinert, in addition to Ellsworth’s Trey Anderson.
Ellsworth Rec Director Ronnie Tenbrink is the Quivira League President. Tenbrink started the Quivira League six years ago with teams from Holyrood, Claflin, Ellsworth, Hoisington and Otis-Bison. Tenbrink has several District Championship plaques and plaques for State placers in his office, but this will be the first State Championship for this league. Tenbrink said this will also be the first time a Quivira team will compete in the next level of competition after state.
The State Champion Quivira team now advances to the 5-State Regional Tournament in Minot, North Dakota where they will face State Champion teams from North Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri beginning July 31st. The team is trying to raise funds to help with travel and lodging expenses for this 4-day tournament. Any businesses or individuals interested in sponsoring or making a tax-free contribution for this local team can contribute to the City of Ellsworth with Cal Ripken Baseball on the memo line. This money will be used to assist the Hoisington, Claflin, and Ellsworth players with the travel and lodging expenses. If expenses are met, excess money in the fund will be used for future Quivira Cal Ripken tournament teams. For more information on making a donation, contact Lavern Boxberger at (620) 793-0767 or Jennifer Stein