By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
NORTH LAUREL — The North Laurel 11-year-old All Stars took the toughest road possible last week en route to this weekend’s state tournament in Prestonsburg.
Jason Vanhook’s team opened the District 4 tournament with a win over Knox County, which was the team that had beaten North Laurel in the championship game the past two years. Despite getting past Knox County, Vanhook and company lost their first showdown with Corbin in a lopsided 11-3 affair.
North Laurel battled their way back to face Corbin in the finals, where they had to beat them twice if they were to continue the journey. Consecutive 6-1 wins over Corbin gave Vanhook’s team the District 4 Championship, as well as the opportunity to play in the state tournament.
Vanhook said Friday he felt like given the way things have played out over the past few weeks his team is ready to get things started this weekend.
“We’ve practiced pretty hard the past few days, so I think our kids are looking forward to playing baseball,” Vanhook said. “This is this particular group’s first experience in a state tournament, so I think a little bit of not knowing what to expect is something they’re going through.
“I don’t think they’re nervous, but I think they’re pretty anxious to get on the baseball field and get things started,” he added. “I think our team as a whole is ready, because I really don’t know what else we could do to prepare.”
North Laurel will open pool play today against Campbellsville. They’ll face Prestonsburg Sunday and Morgan County on Monday.