If experience and home field advantage mean anything, then Carson Valley has an edge coming into the Nevada State Senior League (15-16 year olds) State Tournament starting today at Lampe Park. Then again, it all comes down to being able to being able to perform on the field.
"At tournament time, it always boils down to the team that makes the fewest mistakes is going to win," Carson Valley Senior League manager T.C. Estes said.
In all, 16 teams in four age divisions will play through at least Tuesday on two fields at the Lampe Park complex. Action starts at 9 a.m. with 9-10 year old and Junior League (13-14 year olds) games.
Carson Valley's Junior League club plays Battle Mountain at 9 a.m. and Central faces Peccole in the other first-round game.
In the 9-10 age bracket. Green Valley (Henderson) plays Silverada (Dayton) at 9 a.m. and Washoe takes on Peccole at 2 p.m.
In the 11-12 year old bracket, Silverada plays Peccole (Las Vegas) at 2 p.m. and Washoe faces Green Valley at 4:30 in first-round action. The 11-12 champion will advance to the Western Regionals in San Bernardino, Calif., the final step before Williamsport, Pa.
In the 15-16 division, Battle Mountain meets the District 4 representative at 3 p.m. and Carson Valley opens with a 6 p.m. contest against the District II representative from Las Vegas.
Carson Valley's Senior League team lost two of its three tournament games last year, but armed with a nucleus of returnees, there's hope for an improved showing this time around.
"We were young last year. We had a lot of 15-year-olds, and those kids are back now, I'd say seven or eight of them," Carson Valley manager T.C. Estes said.
Jonathan Silva is one of those returnees. He says the team is stronger, but realizes the challenge will be formidable.
"I think our team is better than last year. We've stepped up our speed and our defense is better, too. I think we're doing to do a lot better at home because we're used to this field. It's going to be tough to beat those Vegas teams, but we can do it."
Eli Bently has tentatively been named to pitch today's opener for Carson Valley.
"This is a good group of kids. I think they have good attitudes, they work hard and they're dedicated and I think they're going to do well," Estes said.