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Northwest Salmon









Just when Webster grounds crew workers thought the season was over, a late night call from Milbank Aug. 9 put the volunteers back on the diamond to prepare for the 2014 American Legion Division II Central Plains Tournament final games in their four date tournament. Milbank, the tournament’s host sought the help of Webster after their community sustained five inches of rain and made their field unplayable. Webster hosted games late into the night and early morning of Aug. 9-10 and saw the championship match-up go to two games Aug. 10. Pictured on the Kromer is Ross Bullert, Jack Jacobs carries out the bases while Brady Bury sweeps down the pitcher’s mound. Others helped make the diamond ready for game two of the championship.

Webster helps host multi state tournament on short notice

by Emre K. Erku

The 2014 American Legion Division II Central Plains Tournament was cut short in Milbank last week as heavy rains produced between five and seven inches of water on Legion Field.
The tournament, which was played Aug. 7-10, migrated to Bob Wiley Field in Webster on Saturday as rain continued to pour. After a phone call was made by tournament director Joel Foster to Chad Hesla, Bob Wiley’s grounds crewman went to work. All the teams, fans, Milbank’s grounds crew, umpires, announcers and all other tourney staff loaded up their vehicles and headed west.
Saying yes presented Webster with a challenge: get the field groomed and ready within a three hour time frame. That meant hanging 50 banners along the outfield fence, calling and texting volunteers to help a grounds crew of two and gaining acccess into city hall for scoreboards.
So Hesla had to think quickly. After all the proper calls were made, within 10 minutes, he said, Wade Rausch, Eric Coyne, Mike Baumgarn, Jack and Mary Jacobs, Ellen Ellis, Reid Valsvig, Andy Rithmiller, Joe Gaikowski, Quentin, Brady and Vicki Bury, Nikki and Mary Jean Hesla, Ross Bullert, Nathan Bloom, Karlee Chapin, Bob Page and Jordan Junke headed over to the field and got cracking.
“It was pretty impressive,” said Foster. “Chad rolled out the red carpet for everyone – it was incredible.”
Now, the teams hailing from Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Nevada and, of course, South Dakota, were able to play ball.
In 2012, Webster was to host the State Legion tournament but the poles supporting the outfield lights fell due to defects. This caused for a switch in locations. Having a good relationship with Milbank, it was decided with three months notice that, in exchange, Webster would host the tourney in 2013.
Now the ball was in Webster’s field to return the favor.
The Central Plains Tournament committee was initially responsible for not only purchasing hotel rooms but feeding 80 players and their coaches two meals a day. The tourney’s migration presented more challenges.
Apart from concessions, Perebooms and Subway stepped up to the plate and both establishments smashed homeruns, filling everyone’s stomach late into the night on Saturday – the last game ended Sunday morning at 12:30 a.m. At one point, Subway made 40 footlongs for the teams playing the night games.
“It’s easy (to do) when you have a community like Webster,” said Hesla. “Milbank would’ve done the same for us.”
After everything was said and done with, an estimated $20,000 in expenses was said to be incurred. Although all Webster’s total expenses have yet to been recorded, Milbank will reimburse Webster for all their troubles.

Fiksdal Funeral Home

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