BOZEMAN — Four Bozeman all-star baseball teams won state championships and qualified for their respective Pacific Northwest Regional tournaments.
The 14U, 13U, 12U and 10U teams each won titles, while the 9U team placed runner-up at their state championship and will also advance to their Regional tournament.
“The boys are gearing up for this one like they want to win it. You know they want to go down there and be competitive," 13U Head Coach and all-star committee chairman Garrett Schultz said. "That’s what we said on day one of the season. The goal is for all the teams to go and compete not only at the state level, but regionally. We want to be regionally competitive.”
And that’s just what the Bucks proved last week as most took home hardware while spread across the state at each of their state tournaments.
“Our 14 and 13U teams played in Helena. Our 10s and 12s played in Plentywood, the far northeastern corner of the state," Schultz said. "And then our 9s and 11s got to stay home and host in Bozeman.”
The teams relied on an app the baseball community knows all too well to find out who else took home a state championship.
“And then you’re just watching GameChanger," Schultz said. "There’s a lot of apps out there now, where you’re getting results in real time, and seeing that four teams went out and did that to get a shot to play at Regionals was pretty special to our program."
They wouldn’t be able to get there if it weren’t for the community, everyone behind the scenes, supporting them.
“Our community is fantastic," Schultz said. "You know, they’re the reason we can travel to Spokane and Omaha, and now this weekend, Ferndale and Longview, Washington. You see tonight, we’re at the Korner Klub. They’re allowing our boys to flip burgers and sell burgers here we’re doing a fundraiser.”
It wasn't just the Korner Klub where this team put in work to get themselves to their Regional tournament.
“They were bagging groceries at Town and Country earlier this week," Schultz said. "You know, you can see starting with our league season, all kinds of sponsors putting their names on the backs of jerseys.”
They are both a recreational and competitive league, which means most of the funding comes from the families, but it’s with fundraisers like the one at Korner Klub that can relieve some pressure to get these teams to the biggest stage of the season.
“Any money that we raise from flipping burgers at the Korner Klub will be split up between our families for hotels and stuff like that,” Schultz said.
And it’s those families and members of the community that make everything worth it.
Winning is always a goal, but the support that runs across each program is the best part.
“You know, really as a program, it’s not just one team, you’re traveling with 60 families a lot of times," Schultz explained. "Seeing everybody here with their Bucks shirts and hats, just all the support that we get is so much fun. Yeah, we like being competitive there’s no doubt. But we like getting better and supporting each other as a family.”
The 9U Cal Ripken Pacific Northwest Regional Tournament is in Eugene, Oregon from July 20-22.
The 10U regional tournament takes place in Longview, Washington, from July 20-23 with the winner advancing to the World Series in Crown Point, Indiana.
The 12U Pacific Northwest Regional tournament takes place in Longview from July 20-22 with the winner advancing to the World Series in Branson, Missouri.
The 13U Pacific Northwest Regional tournament in Ferndale, Washington, from July 24-30 with the winner advancing to the World Series in Glen Allen, Virgina.
The 14U All-Stars earned a spot in the Pacific Northwest Regional tournament, but declined as they are unable to make the trip as a team.