The 8-to-10-year-olds in the Hollywood-Rose City All Star team are the Oregon state Little League baseball champions in their age group, after beating a perennial powerhouse, the Murrayhill Little League of Beaverton.
“The roster consisted of numerous talented players but they had never all played together as one group,” said Brian Hoffert, one of the coaches who guided the team on the Erv Lind field at Normandale Park, where the state tournament was held in late July.
The 13 were selected from teams in the Hollywood-Rose City league following the regular season that ended in May.
“By the first practice, the coaches recognized that all 13 were fully engaged and willing to put in the kind of work that is required for a long tournament run,” Hoffert said.
Manager Biola Cruse and coaches Sean McCarthy and Hoffert said each player contributed to team efforts whenever he was called upon, and that is a reason for the boys’ success in the tournament.
The group won three consecutive games in the District One tournament, advancing to the state tournament to compete against teams from Oregon’s seven other districts, Hoffert explained. The team went 4-0, beating teams from The Dalles and Pendleton before taking on Murrayhill.
The Hollywood and Rose City leagues, which include players from several Northeast neighborhoods, merged about five years ago, Hoffert said. The state championship is the first for the merged league.
“Parents and coaches are excited to see what the future holds for this group of boys,” Hoffert said, “and many believe they are capable of achieving even bigger goals in the next couple of years as they move on to the Little League Major level” (for older boys).