The All Stars of Little League

Sky Valley Little League’s pitcher Andrew Rooney, 10, during the middle of a pitch Monday, July 1 during the first round of 
All Star Little League at the Phil Johnson Ballfields in Everett.

Sky Valley Little League’s pitcher Andrew Rooney, 10, during the middle of a pitch Monday, July 1 during the first round of All Star Little League at the Phil Johnson Ballfields in Everett.
Photo by Jim Scolman

Around one dozen of the best players get the chance to represent their Little League as District 1 All Stars and keep playing baseball into the summer. The 8-10 age group All Star tournament ran from July 1-9, with games played at the Phil Johnson Fields in Everett. Other All Star tournaments were held for other age groups during the same time.
Juda Wade, number 5 for Everett Little League, said that he was really excited when he was selected to be on the 2024 All Star team. “I ran around the house,” he said. “Yelling,” added Juda’s dad, smiling.
The quad-field complex was packed full of little leaguers, their family and friends, coaches plus general fans of baseball, who gathered for the summer-time tournaments. The parking lots were overflowed as cars spilled out to find a spot on the main road, blocking a lane of traffic on each side of the street for blocks.
Most of the teams radiated high energy even before the start of each game.
Snohomish Little League would gather in a circle before the start of each game, rocking side-to-side in unison as they fired each other up. They also brought a little humor to the field as one player’s bat was designed to resemble a classic, yellow No. 2 pencil, complete with eraser.
Abel Ellis, number 9 for Snohomish Little League, said that he liked playing All Stars because he gets to play on a team with new people. Ellis hit an inside-the-park homerun during their first game
on July 1.
“I’m looking forward to playing with friends,” Will Garrett, number 6 for Snohomish Little League, said.
Andrew Rooney, number 12 for Sky Valley Little League (Monroe area), said that when he was chosen to be on the All Star team, he was “happy and confident that I could be an asset to this team.”
Each player has their own individual reasons on why they enjoy playing the game of baseball. “My favorite part (of baseball) is being in every play when I catch,” Lucas Calipusan, number 9 for Sky Valley Little League, said.
“I like pitching a lot,” Garrett said.
“(Baseball is) fun. (I like) playing with my team and hitting dingers (homeruns),” said Ellis.
Almost all of the players across the Everett, Snohomish and Sky Valley All Star teams unanimously agreed that there was one thing that they dreaded about playing in this tournament: “The heat!”
The District 1 All Star tournaments cover up to 13 different little leagues across Snohomish County, including those mentioned above, along with others such as Mill Creek, Alderwood and Stanwood Camano.
At the end of each game, the players from the teams exchange league pins with their opponent as a gesture of good sportsmanship. Depending on how many games each team played, the players can end up with a unique pin collection.
As the tournament progressed, Sky Valley Little League would win their first game, but lose the next two and be eliminated on July 3. Everett Little League lost their first game against Sky Valley and won the second against Alderwood on July 3. Snohomish Little League earned a combined 36 runs in their first two victories of the tournament.
Even though tournaments by design are competitive, most of the players just enjoy being on the baseball field.
“You get to have fun, throw hard and throw strikes. You still are really happy whether you pitched good or bad,” Grayson Davisson, number 32 for Snohomish Little League, said after pitching for his team on July 2.

Jim Scolman photo

Everett’s pitcher, No. 4, Jarman Hudson and catcher,
Jace Thompson, chat with their coach during the Sky
Valley Little League versus Everett game July 1.