The best youth baseball players across the state converged in Andover and Blaine over the weekend and 11 local talents represented.
Princeton’s Mitch Krone, Devon Day and Dylan Cook played alongside Milaca’s Anton Erickson and Braden Hardy as a part of the 14AA/A North All-Stars at the Gopher State Baseball league on Aug. 5 and 6.
Joining them, Adam Johaneson, Daniel Minks and Kevin Rahe represented the 13-year-old AA/A West All-Stars for Princeton, while Mi
laca’s Ryker Tillotson, Zachary Timmer and Brady Eggen were a part of the 13AA/A North Central team.
They were just a few of the 329 top talents, according to 13AA/A West coach Al Hlinsky, representing Minnesota’s best 13-to-15 year-old ballplayers in three exhibition contests per team.
“It was pretty cool just being around all of those players and learning the different ways they played ball,” Dylan Cook said.
Cook and his Princeton teammates made the All-Star team after a vote from their regular season company and the Wolves were selected by their coaches to represent Milaca.
““At this tournament every player is of higher quality,” Mike Wehmhoff, the 14 AA/A North coach from Zimmerman said. “It just shows that hard work pays off and makes them work even harder,” 13AA/A North Central coach David Martin of Elk River said.
Once selected, the players moved on teams alongside their longtime adversariess. Kids from Mora and Zimmerman represented the 14-year-old North squad with Princeton and Milaca, while Elk River, St. Michael-Albertville, Blaine, Anoka Ramsey, Becker, Rogers and Zimmerman were a part of the 13-year-old teams.
“It’s fun, normally we’re against those other teams. We’ve been rivals against one of those teams (Zimmerman) [forever],” Mitch Krone said, “You can become friends.”
Together the state’s best were acknowledged for their ability and many showed it off all around the diamond.
“It’s fun because there is not a lot of pressure,” Hlinsky said. “We had them moving around. We just had fun and that’s what it’s all about.”