TORRINGTON – The Torrington Little League All-Stars and the Torrington Sports Complex will be hosting the 2021 Wyoming District 2 Tournament, beginning Monday, July 19 and runs through Saturday, July 24.
Seven teams in the Majors bracket – Torrington, Casper, Douglas, Rawlins, Gillette, Platte County and Laramie – and seven teams in the minors bracket – Torrington, Wright, Gillette, Laramie, Douglas, Platte County and Casper – will battle it out over the course of the week with the top two teams from the tournament advancing to the Wyoming Little League State Tournament in Riverton, set for July 28-31.
Prior to the first pitch, which is set for 1 p.m. Monday, volunteers have pitched in to make some needed upgrades to the Torrington Sports Complex.
“This is stuff us board members wanted to do, and this is the time to do it when you are going to have this many teams here,” Cole Coxbill, a Torrington Little League board member and safety/grounds coordinator said. “Next week will be a great week for baseball.”
New sidewalks and new safety nets are two of the major projects which are taking place this week to make the experience safer and more enjoyable for the fans and players.
“We are putting in overhead netting for all the spectator areas from the dugouts clear to the concession stand building so all four legs will be covered get in that area,” Coxbill said. “In doing that, we are putting in more sidewalks in to the dugouts to make it more accessible for the spectators, as well as the teams.”
These changes are in a series of improvements which have taken place over recent years.
New batting cages, lighting, new press box areas, are just a few of the improvements which have taken place.
“We started a couple years ago, putting up batting cages over the top of our bullpens for kids’ safety during the games and having the batting cages right next to the fields really helped,” Coxbill said. “It spurred more of these ideas. In recent past, we’ve had several people hit by foul balls, so we bought the netting as a league.”
One of the big hurdles was figuring out to do it in such a way that people aren’t always fighting getting the balls down from a top the netting.
“We really didn’t have a plan how we wanted to do it,” Coxbill said. “We came up with the idea and now we are putting it in place. We want to make it as user friends as we can so us, parents, coaches, board members don’t have to be out here getting balls down from the nets.”
All the work is being done by volunteers, according to Coxbill.
“I want to thank our local banks – First State, Pinnacle, Platte Valley and Points West – for helping, as well as Croell’s for donating the concrete,” Coxbill said.
Coxbill expects more than 1,200 people to come through the Torrington Sports Complex gates next week as part of the tournament.
“It’s going to be huge. Every team is guaranteed three games,” Coxbill said. “There aren’t even enough motels in Torrington to host all of them. There are people staying in Guernsey and Scottsbluff.”
Both Torrington teams begin their bid for a spot in the state tournament at 7 p.m. Monday evening. The 11-and-12-year-old all-star team will face Douglas, while the 9-and-10-year-old squad will face Gillette.
Opening ceremonies, followed by a Challenger Division game will begin at 5:30 p.m.