Cheney Free Press -


Staff Reporter 

Area teams face tough competition in Woodbat

Cheney, Medical Lake hosts for July 3-6 American Legion tourney


Cheney and Medical Lake will once again be hosts for the 2014 Spokane/Coeur d’Alene American Legion Woodbat Classic July 3-6 with AA games at the Ballpark in Cheney and ML’s Holliday Field.

The Spokane Blue Devils, with their Cheney connections, are also “home” as the local team in the senior AAA division and play first-round games on the artificial turf at Al K. Jackson Field at Shadle Park.

Cheney’s SummerHawks will square off against Sandpoint, Idaho at 3:30 p.m. in their tournament opener, Thursday, July 3 and then face West Valley of Yakima at 6 p.m. They will meet Juanita Red from Juanita, Wash. at 3:30 p.m. Friday and close out the round-robin versus Rogers from Spokane at 6 p.m.

“The pod has a good level of competition, these are all solid teams” Kadeem Smalls, SummerHawks manager said.

Medical Lake’s pod includes Juanita Blue, Gonzaga Prep’s No. 2 team, Pendleton, Ore. and Walla Walla. Medical Lake will open with a 4:30 p.m. contest Thursday versus Walla Walla and then face Pendleton, under the lights at 7:30. They will meet Juanita Blue at 4:30 Friday followed by G-Prep at 7.

“It’s baseball, hot dogs and apple pie,” Medical Lake head coach Kerry Kelly said. “Fourth of July, to us that’s baseball time, we’re geared up for it and we’re excited to host again.”

Blue Devils head coach Steve Hare likes getting to play on a familiar field for the Woodbat rather than be road warriors like they tend to be much of the rest of the season.

It will help, Hare thinks, as they open against perennial regional qualifier, Missoula, to open their pod play Thursday, July 3 at 6 p.m. Next is a former Legion World Series team, Napoleon, Ohio, at 8:30 p.m. Pod play finishes with games against Boise and Medicine Hat, Alberta, Friday, July 4 at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. respectively.

“It is a very tough draw but we’re happy to be playing here at the field (Al Jackson),” Hare said. “Usually we’re playing elsewhere. We’re happy to be playing the evening games.”

Paul Delaney can be reached at


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