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Little League Major All-Stars gunning for nationals

Major AAA championship begins Wednesday at Gamble Field, winner off to Canadian Little League Championship
The first step to the Little League World Series is about to begin for the Moose Jaw Major AAA All-Stars.

And wouldn’t you know it, they’re playing some pretty darn good ball right about now.

The 12-and-under squad is coming off an impressive performance at the 14-team Firecracker tournament in Kalispell, Mont. this past weekend, where they reached the championship final before falling 12-7 to Calgary Fish Creek.

That result has the local squad hoping for big things when the Major AAA provincial tournament kicks off Wednesday at Gamble Field in Bell Park.

“We never want to pre-book our flight or anything like that, but we have a good opportunity here,” said All-Stars head coach Tony Dreger. “The boys have been playing really well and this was a good tune-up for getting ready for this week, that’s what important to us right now.”

Moose Jaw opens the tournament against Regina Kiwanis on Wednesday before facing Regina North on Friday, with the two Regina squads taking the field on Thursday. Playoffs will run throughout the weekend, followed by the championship final on Tuesday. All games are at 6 p.m.

Making things all the more interesting for the local squad is the kind of spring season the Major AAA Miller Express are coming off – they posted a perfect 15-0 record in the North Regina Little League and recently claimed the league title. Not only did they win often, they won in dominant fashion, regularly posting double-digit victories.

Things will be tougher this week, though. The two Regina North and Regina Kiwanis league teams will each merge into one squad, creating a deeper challenge than what the Millers have seen in-province all season.

“Both of those teams will be solid teams as well, so we’re looking forward to the competition,” Dreger said. “The boys have been working really hard, they’ve gelled and are playing at one of the better levels we’ve been at all summer long.”

The tournament champion will advance to Canadian Little League Championship Aug. 1-10 in Ancaster, Ont., with the national champion representing Canada at the legendary Little League World Series Aug. 15-25 in Williamsport, Penn.

“We’ve kind of had our eyes set on this for a good chunk of last year and all of this year, it’s been our vision and our goal so we want to make sure we play well and have a good week,” Dreger said.

Representing Moose Jaw on the AAA All-Stars are Javin Boynton, Ryan Duncan, Jackson Folliot, Cooper Gregor, Gerritt Gulutzan, Trehvan McMorris, Maguire Payne, Nathan Pisio, Tyson Ross, Max Simmons, Noah Thul and Owen Varjassay.