For the second year in a row, two members of the Champlin Park baseball team were chosen to play in the Play Ball MN! All-Star Series June 21-24.
Seniors Cole Albers and Zach Loven were chosen to play on the Metro North squad, with Champlin Park head baseball coach Cory Davis chosen as one of the squad’s two coaches.
“I think this is a sign we have some talented players up in our area that are well-respected in the North Metro,” Davis said. “I’m proud as heck for Cole and Zach to get this opportunity.”
With 104 of the state’s top seniors having travelled to Chaska for the ALl-Star Series, Albers and Loven knew they were set to face off against the best talent the state has to offer.
“This is a cool experience, getting to be with a bunch of good players,” Loven said. “You just get to know one another and have a good time.
“Playing better competition makes you better.”
With the rest of the Metro North roster made up of players from other Northwest Suburban Conference teams, among others, the All-Star Series, gave the Rebel seniors a chance to build friendships with players whom they have played against for many years.
“This is a lot of fun, being around all these good baseball players,” Albers said. “These are the best of the best, and we have been enemies for three or four years now, so to come together has been a lot of fun.”
Davis, who coached the Metro North team alongside Cambridge-Isanti’s Todd Smrekar, spoke highly of his experience at the All-Star Series.
“This has to go down as one of the best baseball memories that I have ever had,” Davis said. “The way they treat the coaches and players, the Coaches’ Association does such a great job.
“This event is special for the kids and the coaches. It’s remarkable how quickly these kids become friends.”
Davis said one of his favorite parts about the tournament was being able to see high-quality baseball throughout the weekend.
“This is pure baseball, this is so good,” Davis said. “There are so few mistakes and the thing I have noticed the most is that during the regular season and playoffs, once you get a team’s best pitcher out the next kid is a little more hittable, but here it is everybody’s No. 1.
“The hitters are all used to hitting one through four, so really the focus for the pitchers is tremendous and the hitters are seeing some great arms.”
The Metro North squad went 2-1 in the tournament and took home third-place behind South and All-Star Series champion Metro West.
Albers went 3-for-7 with three RBIs and a home run over the weekend, while Loven went 0-for-3 with two walks.
Follow Sun Post sports editor Chris Chesky on Twitter at @MNSunSports or @SunSportsChris and on Facebook at SunSportsStaff.