LaMoure no stranger to state: Post 19 hosting ‘B’ Legion tournamentLaMoure has hosted the Class B state Legion tournament twice in the last 10 years. The ending was the same both times for Post 19 — one win short. In 2004 and 2010 LaMoure advanced to the championship game at Townsend Field, only to finish second twice.
By: By Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
LaMoure has hosted the Class B state Legion tournament twice in the last 10 years. The ending was the same both times for Post 19 — one win short.
In 2004 and 2010 LaMoure advanced to the championship game at Townsend Field, only to finish second twice.
Post 19 will take another crack at it this week, hosting the eight-team tournament, which kicks off today at 11 a.m.
“It’s something the community looks forward to. A lot of people in town are excited and the tournament field looks pretty strong,” LaMoure coach Jason Thielges said. “Hopefully we can stick around a while.”
Post 19 (26-17) has become a staple at the state tournament. They’ve qualified six of the last seven years and eight of the last 10 — all with Thielges at the helm. They won it all in 2007 and ’09.
LaMoure plays the final first-round game tonight. Opening Ceremonies are slated for 6:30 p.m., just ahead of the host team taking on Garrison at about 7:30.
Wahpeton and defending champion Casselton open the tournament at 11 a.m., followed by Lisbon and Grafton and Velva taking on Washburn.
LaMoure’s roster is stuffed with multi-sport athletes. Zach Stemen, Brady and Tyler Thielges and Jared Meiklejohn excelled in three sports. Tanner Carlson, Devin Piehl and Kenny Hodem also are versatile performers. Throw in Edgeley transplant Beau Diegel, also a solid multi-sport performer, and Chris Heinrich of Medina — who Jason Thielges calls, “Probably our hardest thrower” — and Post 19 is comprised of plenty of kids not afraid of pressure-packed moments.
“I think there’s something to be said for that,” Thielges said of the team’s overall success. “The more big-game experience you have, I don’t care what sport it’s in, the more comfortable you’re going to be in certain situations.”
Another thing Post 19 has going for them is their pitching depth. It was in full view last weekend as they went 5-1 at the Section 2 tournament, including beating Lisbon twice to win the title.
Stemen, headed to MSU-Moorhead to play football in the fall, tops the staff, but Heinrich, Meiklejohn, Carlson, Brady Thielges and Diegel also are dependable arms.
“We probably don’t have that No. 1 guy that’s going to go out there and shut down any team he faces, but of our top six guys, I’m very comfortable sending any of them out there,” Jason Thielges said.
The team’s defense has been their No. 1 strength, Thielges said. Offensively, they’re pretty balanced too.
“We don’t hit many home runs or anything like that, but we’ve been able to string enough hits together most games,” Thielges said.
Being solid in every area will likely determine the last team standing come Sunday, and Thielges thinks his team should be in the mix.
“There are a lot of good teams. I’m not sure who the favorite is, but I know you can’t afford to have any bad games,” Thielges said. “If we play like we have been, I think we have a shot.”
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org