Four local youth baseball teams begin the quest for a state championship at home on Saturday.
American Little League is hosting the Minor Baseball (9-10 age group) state tournament at Double Churches Park.
The nine-team tournament gets underway at 10 a.m. American plays its first game at noon against the District 10 champion.
"This means a great deal," American LL president Rusty Rustin said of hosting the tournament. "It is not only good for us, but it is good for Columbus. We get to showcase not only our fields, but the city itself.
"Columbus has grown quite a bit since the last time we hosted a state tournament. A lot has changed. The families can stay close by."
Rustin said American found out it would host the state tournament just three weeks ago.
"A lot of the board members have put in a lot of time from their normal jobs," Rustin said. "They have put in a lot of after hours work as well."
The teams are split into two pools and will play a round-robin schedule the first few days of the tournament. The top two teams from each pool will advance to semifinals, which are scheduled for July 17. The final is slated for July 18.
The winner advances to the Tournament of Champions in Greenville, N.C., on July 25.
Meanwhile, at Britt David Park, West Georgia will be hosting the Dixie Boys (14s) and Junior Boys (13s).
In the Boys tournament, West Georgia opens against Troup at 4 p.m.
West Georgia has two teams in the Junior Boys. They play each other at 10 a.m.
Both tournaments are double-elimination. The Junior boys final is slated for July 15 and the Boys final July 16.
The world series for both Junior Boys and Boys will be in Bossier City, La., Aug. 2-6.
West Georgia hosted the Junior Boys world series last year, which was won by Hattiesburg, Miss.
Phenix City Little League will host a state tournament for base
ball teams of 9-year-olds.
That tournament is set to start on July 19.
Phenix City American and Phenix City National have teams in that tournament.
Twelve other local teams are headed out of town for state tournaments.
The Northern 10-11 baseball team will start Saturday at Cartersville.
The Northern 11-12 baseball team will start July 19 at Warner Robins.
The Northern 9-10 softball team will start Saturday in West Point.
The Pioneer 11-12 softball team will start Saturday in West Point.
The Northern senior softball team will start Saturday in Danielsville.
The Phenix City American and National 9-10 baseball teams start Saturday in Huntsville.
The Phenix City American and National 10-11 baseball teams start Saturday in Sylacauga.
The Phenix City American and National 11-12 baseball teams start Saturday in Jackson.
The American 9-10 baseball all-stars are Dawson Hendrick, Quay Menefee, William Nobles, Carson Collier, Pate Stansell, Cole Edsell, Stewart Rustin, Turner Moss, Cole Burkett, Brooks Parkerson, Haze Voltz, Austin Stephenson, manager Jason Stansell and coaches Geoff Edsell and Michael Parkerson
The Northern 10-11 baseball all-stars are Devan Cail, Sean Desrosier, Connor King, Adam Torres, Caden Shirah, Conner O'Neal, Frank Davis, Hunter Walker, Joey Bialoncik, Zach Joyner, Chandler Blanton, coach David O'Neal, manager Schawn Cail and coach Scott Shirah.
The Pioneer 11-12 softball all-stars are Jillian Holloway, Lindsey Sanders, Kamdyn Fuller, Raelee Weaver, Cydnee Harrison, Nyiah Kelley, Savannah Landrum, Jada Chadwick, Aiyanna (Bean) Taylor, Kennedi Bedell, Mary Head, Sammie Cotton, manager Chuck Landrum and coaches Mickey Mallory and Bo Weaver.
The Northern 9-10 softball all-stars are Harleigh Hutchinson, Maddie Wells, Lily King, Abby Torres, Madison Dimsdale, Leilani Martinez, Bre Leininger, Avery Sconyers, Baylee Fulps, Maddie Hanson, Maddie Moss, Jordan Brown, manager Keith Wells and coaches Alex Martinez and Larry Carver.
The Northern Senior softball all-stars are Lexi Slouchick, Bailee Liston, Cristiana Houston, Brianna Simmons, Laura Beth Dowe, Kim Kronemeyer, Deja Smith, Marlisa Scott, Jazmine Bagsby, Alexandra Foster, Olivia Hinton, Emily Davis, manager Jarrod Yarbrough, asst. coach Haley Yarbrough and asst. coach Bob Hinton.
The West Georgia Dixie Junior All-Stars are Chance Long, Kaleb Morales, Alan Tindel, Bryce Long, , Ethan Martin, Lawson McGregor, Drake Vitelli, Kody Noviello, Lane Corbin, Will Kendrick-Holmes, Chad Floore River Buice, manager James Lawhon, assistant Rene Morales and coach Tracy Long.
The West Georgia Junior Boys host team are Logan Barnes, Colby Beckwith, Richard Cabrera, Dylan Carter, Aaron Christopher, Alex Harrell, JT Kelley, Robert McDaniel, Kaleb Morales, Jayce Swint, Jackson Trojan and coaches John Smith, Shane Beckwith, Q Kelley and Chance Beckwith.
The West Georgia Dixie Boys all-stars are Jasper Evans, Troi Harvey, Devin Perez, Michael Ramsey, RayLyn Thorton, Blake Rawls, Chance Averett, Andre Lacy, Ryn Welch, Endurian Franklin, Rivers Buice, Jonathan Manibusan, Jordan Manibusan and coaches Jasper Evans and Eric Newman.
The Northern Little League 11-12 baseball all-stars are Will Graydon, Lewis Ashe, Jagger Smith, Mitch Harp, John Runyon, Ethan Arredondo, Zachary Garcia, Peyton McLemore, Brent Epps, Colton Joyner, Tyler Watkins and Lucas Sheppard, manager Randy Morris, coaches Matt McMcLemore and Donnie Coulter.
The rosters for the Phenix City teams were not available.