CRETE, NE — State tournament baseball is coming to Crete.
The southeast Nebraska city put its bid in to host the Class B Senior American Legion Tournament after the scheduled host had its team bumped up to Class A. Vice President of the Legion Baseball Board Mitch Homolka says hosting the tournament will boost the board’s finances and ultimately benefit the athletes.
“Having state baseball here is going to help recuperate some of the money we’ve spent to upkeep things and make things nicer, beatification around here," Homolka said. "We’re pretty proud of what we have going on.”
The board recently replaced a chain link backstop with poles and netting and did some grounds work. Homolka says Thom Stallard Memorial Field is looking as good as he’s ever seen it.
Visitors will be welcomed to town by a banner purchased by the legion baseball board.
“We hope to make that a traveling banner, something that other cities, Class B Legion baseball teams maybe want to rent, buy, maybe we just send it with them and let them hang it up for their tournament,” Homolka said.
The host team gets automatic entry into the tournament, so the Crete seniors find themselves playing at State despite a three-win season. Head Coach Jacob Cathey says his guys will compete.
“We have improved in all facets of the game from the beginning of the summer until now," Cathey said. "We won two out of our last three games against good teams and we played great baseball all the way through.”
He says the key to going on a tournament run is staying focused.
“When we stay competitive all game, we stay positive, we stay with each other and for each other, we can be a tough team to beat,” Cathey said.
Crete’s first round opponent is Omaha Roncalli.
Homolka says the local legion post is also hosting fundraisers over the weekend, specifically a breakfast buffet on Sunday morning. The Chamber of Commerce is promoting local businesses by offering a coupon booklet to all participants.